FENAKA supplies electricity around the clock to 65 per cent of the Maldives

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FENAKA supplies electricity around the clock to 65 per cent of the Maldives
Mohamed Nimal, Managing Director of FENAKA

Excerpts from an interview with Mohamed Nimal, Managing Director of FENAKA

By Justin Calderon

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Published: Tue 26 Jul 2016, 1:30 PM

What makes FENAKA's incorporation so important?
FENAKA was established in 2012 by presidential decree through the merger of six former utility companies in order to provide electricity, water, sewage treatment and solid waste management services to 151 islands across the Maldives. Today, we have realised one of President Abdulla Yameen's main pledges: FENAKA supplies electricity around the clock to 65 per cent of the Maldives' population, achieved through a $4 million investment in 77 new generators.

How is FENAKA improving utility efficiency?
To boost energy efficiency and cut emissions, water infrastructure is being hybridized with rooftop solar panels. Furthermore, we are in the process of implementing 20MW of solar power across the Maldives, a project initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. The ultimate goal is to supply 30 per cent of demand through solar energy.

How does the Gulf region fit into your agenda?
The Gulf region is one of our traditional partners - we share many values. For instance, Dubai is a vital market and we are planning to build relations with the suppliers there. Such visits are instrumental because the Gulf has a vast number of quality suppliers and we are always looking for new technology or technical solutions.

"To boost energy efficiency and cut emissions, water infrastructure is being hybridized with rooftop solar panels."

How stable is the Maldives as an investment destination?
President Yameen has opened the doors to foreign investors, engaging in historical deals that will encourage greater cooperation and stability. Without a doubt, since coming to office President Yameen has catalysed a lot of economic activity.

What new projects is 2016 going to bring?
Recently, we issued a $6-million tender to build more storage capacity for the diesel tanks in our powerhouses. FENAKA will then install main storage facilities on 27 islands, which will be equipped with modern calibration and measurement tools. In addition to this, we are introducing prefabricated powerhouses across 51 islands that needed their powerhouses relocated.

How does FENAKA plan to ensure an enduring legacy?
We are an undeniable backbone. Thus, FENAKA has a responsibility to the Maldives. This is why we'll hire 100 special needs staff under our corporate social responsibility programme within this year. In the past two years, we recruited 850 new staff, mainly hired from the outer islands, and now have 2,400 employees.


 
Replacing power plants with dignity
 
100%
Mohamed Nimal, Managing Director of FENAKA, speaks with Aminath, an islander on Alifushi, about relocation benefits.

Aminath's husband thought he would never see the day that the power plant next to their island home would close. The noxious fumes, intense heat and loud noise that plagued the family were so a part of their lives that they became an insidious heirloom, passed down generations to Aminath's children and grandchildren, who all share the same house and misfortune.
 
Today, the power plant's generators have finally ceased. As a part of FENAKA Corporation's relocation project, Aminath's village on Alifushi is one of the first in the Maldives to be relieved of the harmful effects of having a power plant as a neighbour. In 2015, four other power plants were moved further inland, away from coastal populations; 15 relocation projects are ongoing. The project marks a mega-overhaul in infrastructure being conducted by FENAKA to modernize the Maldives' utilities. Overall, FENAKA plans to relocate  51 more power plants while fulfilling its commitment to provide electricity 24 hours a day.

Aminath's husband passed away shortly before the power plant closed. But, although saddened by the death of her spouse, Aminath was rejoiceful the day FENAKA visited to close the plant, knowing well that her family would no longer suffer.


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