UAE firm as subcontractor of airport new runway reclamation

A dredger reclaims land for Maldives main airport's new runway. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

A dredger reclaims land for Maldives main airport’s new runway. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

The reclamation project for the development of Maldives main airport’s second runway has been awarded to subcontractor United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s dredging firm Gulf Cobla.

The subcontractor for the project is Gulf Cobla’s subsidiary company in the Maldives, Gulf Cobla Tennssor Maldives Pvt Ltd (GCTM). The reclamation is currently underway for Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA)’s new runway, though the agreed cost for the project has not been disclosed.

Gulf Cobla had previously undertaken dredging projects in the Maldives such as land reclamation for the domestic airport developed in Thaa atoll Thimarafushi island, and for INIA’s second terminal which had been commenced by the airport’s previous operator GMR Group of India.

Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) had awarded the development of INIA’s new runway to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) of China. The firm had commenced land reclamation last week.

DredgingToday website cited GCTM’s announcement that 4 million cubic metres of sand from airport island Hulhule’s inner lagoon will be reclaimed for the second runway. Previously, over 2 million cubic metres of sand had been dredged from the lagoon for INIA’s previous expansion in 2012. According to the website, using the same area to borrow sand highly minimises the environmental impact.

The website further elaborated that GCTM had deployed their cutter suction dredger (CSD) Deira Bay for the project, with their CSD Khaleej Bay cutter section dredger to be mobilized from the UAE after two months to hasten the project.

In addition to land reclamation, GTCM will also install sheet piles and develop revetments for the protection of the reclaimed land.

MACL stated that the reclamation will be completed within approximately five months, which will add around 30 percent or 62 hectares of land to the airport.

The USD 373 million (MVR 5.7 billion) project to develop a second runway in INIA aims to establish a new runway measuring 3,400 metres in length and 60 metres in width. The project includes development of a new cargo terminal with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes and a fuel farm with a storage of 45 million litres.

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