The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is to continue the development of the finance ministry’s 25-storey office complex, with Malaysia’s WZR Property Sdn Berhad.
On Sunday, the Asian International Arbitration Centre ordered the Maldivian government to pay USD 22.8 million to WZR Property. The Malaysian company filed a case at the court in September 2019, to claim unpaid fees.
In a statement release on Wednesday, HDC said that their aim is to continue the work in manner that ‘will cause the least damage to the corporation’.
The previous government signed the agreement with WZR, on 1st March 2016.
Noting that it took over the project “under a novation agreement” in March 2017, HDC said that the project finances were not confirmed at the time signing. HDC further noted the 25-storey office project was not within the company’s business plan, adding that this led to “feasibility issues.”
Furthermore, HDC said that it received a USD 30 million invoice shortly after taking over the project. Noting that figures in this bill were not compatible with the work completed, HDC said that the amount was revised after a joint verification by HDC and WZR.
While the Asian International Arbitration Centre ordered HDC to pay the USD 22.8 million to WZR Property within seven days after ruling, HDC said that this amount “is for the work conducted by the contractor”. HDC was ordered to pay legal costs of WZR Property, as well as the Asian International Arbitration Centre’s administration fee.
However, HDC said that it was not believe that terminating the agreement with WZR Property will be the best move. Hence, the company is working to reach an agreement to continue the project with WZR Property.
HDC further said that it is in discussions with the contractor, to introduce changes to the scope of the project as well as to review the financial terms to avoid any losses to the company.
The matter is also being discussed with the finance ministry, as well as other relevant institutions.