Inaugurated in 2012, FENAKA Corporation Limited is the main utility serving islands outside of the capital region, providing electricity that reaches 70% of the population, as well as water and sewerage to several islands. Mohamed Lamaan, Acting Managing Director of FENAKA, says that the utility is currently ahead of schedule in its mission to deploy hybrid solar systems to meet national renewables targets.
When did FENAKA accomplish its mandate to bring 24-hour electricity to the nation?
FENAKA was given the mandate to bring 24-hour electricity to the nation in 2013 after President Yameen took office. The following year, the government invested over $9.8 million to supply 77 diesel generators. By 2017, the number of islands suffering from daily power outages came down from about 40 islands to about five islands per day. Earlier this year, we were able to complete our mission to ensure 24-hour electricity to all the 152 inhabited islands that we serve, making the Maldives the first country in South Asia to achieve 100% electricity access.
How is FENAKA’s recently launched power infrastructure project going to revolutionize the energy sector?
FENAKA has embarked on a megaproject to upgrade existing power provision facilities, catering to a surge in demand resulting from massive economic development in the country. Under this project, upgrading will occur in existing power generation, distribution and operations facilities in the 16 atolls the company serve. As of today, FENAKA has upgraded 148 powerhouses, with new upgrades allowing power grids to become stronger and more efficient.
As the newly appointed acting managing director at FENAKA, what will you be focusing on?
When I was the deputy managing director from 2013 to 2015, I initiated the company’s integrated billing software. This proprietary software is based on cloud-based technology and is very important because it further ensures transparency for all customers and stakeholders. I will also ensure that new technology implemented by FENAKA continues to allow for easier management of information coming from all of our 148 powerhouses, including all billing and operations data. Through this platform, FENAKA can get real-time information of our powerhouse operations and grids, increasing efficiency and reducing costs. It will also enable customers to pay online, a very customer-friendly option that wasn’t available before. I would also like to ensure all islands have uninterrupted power facilities with efficient network distributions. Furthermore, importance will be given to develop sectorial business activities to improve profitability.
How is Fenaka planning to assist the nation generate 30% of the nation’s electricity from renewable by 2020?
FENAKA is one of the key players focused on the national re- newable energy mission. In this vein, we began a project in 2015 with the Asian Development Bank, called the Preparing Outer Islands for Sustainable Energy Development Project (POISED). Under the POISED project, solar-diesel hybrid systems will be installed accross the country, allowing at least 30% of peak time load to be generated by renewable energy.
How would you describe the nature of UAE-Maldivian relations this year of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations?
The Maldives and the UAE have been friendly for many years, and I think the UAE can be of much help with our work. We have a lot more that we can learn from the UAE’s breakthrough to becoming a top global economy and cultural hub. The Maldives is currently seeking to learn, adopt and implement the UAE’s successful model. Thus, we believe that investors from the UAE will continue to find interest in our nation.