Seychelles' government seeks investors for floating dry dock
Transport minister Anthony Derjacques visited the planned construction site at Ile Perseverance. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles is seeking investors to build a modular floating dry dock that will allow for the repair and renovation of larger vessels, a high government official said on Thursday.
Transport minister Anthony Derjacques visited the planned construction site at Ile Perseverance – a man-made island – and said that the building of a floating dry dock will fill in a gap that currently exists in the fishing sector.
At the moment, tuna purse seiners operating in Seychelles' waters go to Mauritius, Reunion – a French overseas department – or Kenya to undertake repairs or renovation. Once the floating dry dock is completed in Seychelles, this can be done locally.
"This will attract more vessels and businesses to the Port of Victoria. I think that if we can do this successfully, we will be able to call Port Victoria a hub as Seychelles is already a centre for tuna fishing and canning," said Derjacques.
The floating dry dock is designed to accommodate three vessels weighing up to 5,000 tonnes in one go - one on the dock and the other two on each side. It will be located a short distance from the Seychelles Coast Guard base and will overlook the Ile du Port fishing port. Other fishing-related facilities in the areas include the Indian Ocean Tuna (IOT) canning factory and the newly opened Central Common Cold Store (CCCS).
The facility's proximity to the Seychelles Coast Guard is seen as an advantage as the latter will provide security and allow for fast reaction in the case of an accident, for example, an oil spill, at the dock.
With the water basin area reaching a minimum depth of 16 metres, the location is also ideal as it is sheltered in a bay with no wind, according to the minister. This allows for stability of the vessel once raised out of the water
To raise a vessel, water is pumped into the floating dock, causing it to sink down to a depth that allows vessels to come onboard. Once all necessary protocols have been followed to secure the vessel on the dock, the water that was pumped into the dock is removed, raising the dock and the vessel.
Derjacques added that the dry dock will also provide employment as the facility requires both a mechanical and electrical workshop. An area measuring 1,200 square metres on land will house administrative facilities.