The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has signed a loan agreement with the government of the Republic of Maldives, whereby the ADFD will finance a Dh22 million project that will generate energy from waste.
The agreement was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, and Abdulla Jihad, the Minister of Finance and Treasury, Republic of Maldives.
Aimed at contributing to the development of the Maldivian economy, the project will support the energy sector in the northern city of Addu, the second largest city after the capital, Male.
The project involves the installation of a power plant that will utilise waste in an eco-friendly manner to generate about 4 megawatts of energy from heat, meeting 18% of the city's electricity needs. In addition, it will help save about 1.9 million litres of diesel fuel, while reducing 10% of the city's total waste. The scope of work involves civil, electrical and mechanical works to operate the plant.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, "The UAE is working through ADFD to promote the widespread deployment of renewable energy towards achieving sustainable economic and social development in emerging economies. This loan agreement with the Government of Maldives will significantly contribute to meeting the electricity needs of large portions of the population of Addu city from clean sources.
"Through its funding activities, ADFD seeks to support vital economic sectors, including energy. As a key enabler of sustainable economic and social development, renewable energy delivers sizeable benefits for the economies of developing countries in an efficient and sustainable manner."
Al Suwaidi added, "The project will also create hundreds of new jobs in the energy and allied sectors. This will in turn help beneficiary countries diversify their economies and expand conventional energy sources."
The project is being funded as part of ADFD's commitment to supporting the renewable energy sector. In 2009, ADFD committed concessional financing of up to Dh1.285 billion (US$350 million) over seven funding cycles for renewable energy projects in developing countries, Dh183 million for each cycle. The projects are selected from International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, member states.
The waste-to-energy project was selected as part of the first loan cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility valued at Dh150.6 million (US$41 million). Announced at the end of 2013, this cycle is providing concessionary loans to six renewable energy projects in Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Samoa, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.
The financed projects have a combined total capacity of 21MW and will bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that are currently lacking access to a modern energy grid.
The first and second cycles of ADFD/IRENA Project Facility provided US$98 million in loans to fund 11 projects in Ecuador, Maldives, Mali, Samoa, Mauritania (two projects), Sierra Leone, Argentina, Cuba, Iran, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Commending the pioneering role of the UAE in supporting development projects in various countries, Abdulla Jihad, the Minister of Finance and Treasury for the Republic of Maldives, said, "ADFD's active involvement in financing development projects has had a significant economic impact in improving the standard of living and quality of life in developing countries."
He added, "The bilateral relations between the two countries have grown remarkably over the past years, primarily due to the UAE's continued support for the stability and development of the Maldives. We look forward to forging further economic cooperation and joint investments with the UAE for the wider benefit of the two countries." .