New maritime passenger terminal opens on Praslin Island in Seychelles
SPA's CEO said that the passenger terminal facility on Praslin addresses one of their key strategies to separate passage and cargo activities. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A new and larger passenger terminal has been inaugurated on Seychelles' Praslin Island which is expected to bring greater safety to passengers and provide economic development opportunities for business owners in the vicinity.
The new terminal, which was officially inaugurated by President Wavel Ramkalwan and transport minister Antony Derjacques, replaces the older terminal at Baie Ste Anne. The older one is expected to be converted into a base for the Seychelles Coast Guard.
At a cost of SCR16 million ($1.2 million), work on the building commenced in April 2022 and ended in February 2023.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Port Authority (SPA), Sony Payet, said that the passenger terminal facility on Praslin addresses one of SPA's key strategies to separate passage and cargo activities.
"This strategy is important because these two activities are usually not compatible for various reasons, including but not limited to the security of passengers," said Payet.
He added that the same strategy will be implemented on La Digue as well as Mahe, ensuring the same level of service and comfort on all the main islands of the archipelago.
|The new terminal was officially inaugurated by President Wavel Ramkalwan (left) and transport minister Antony Derjacques. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
"Ferries, and their passengers, can start using the jetty in a few weeks after all logistics have been put in place. Taxi, car hires, and DMCs [destination management companies] among others can also start getting ready to use the facility," added Payet.
Construction on the new jetty, located at Kato Nwar Island (Creole for Black Parrot) started in October 2018 and was completed in June 2020 and came at a cost of SCR18.4 million ($1.4 million). Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authority encountered some delays in starting the construction of the building that would house relevant offices and facilities.
Late last year, the port authority launched a national competition to name the terminal, in which 26 individuals participated. During the inauguration ceremony on Friday, the winner of the competition, Marthe Joseph, was presented with her prize.
She shared that the inspiration to name the terminal 'ERO Passenger Terminal' came to her after she saw a programme on television about the vessel with that name.
'ERO' was a sailboat built on La Digue by Ernest Romain and Robert Morgan, from whom the name of the boat was derived. The vessel was later captained by Luc Grandcourt. 'ERO' transported passengers and cargo between Mahe and Praslin until 1975 when it sank at sea. All passengers who were onboard were saved.
"In the programme, Mr. Grandcourt shared that he wanted the name to go down in history, and this was when the name came to me, seeing it as the chance to make Mr. Grandcourt's dream come true," said Joseph.