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Seychelles' Port Victoria extension project scaled down due to higher costs 

Victoria, Seychelles | June 14, 2024, Friday @ 15:05 in National » GENERAL | By: Alisa Uzice Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 5004
Seychelles' Port Victoria extension project scaled down due to higher costs 

The new quay will cater for container vessels and tankers primarily. (Seychelles News Agency)

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The Seychelles' Port Victoria extension and rehabilitation project has been revised from 600 metres to 310 metres to cater for an escalation in costs of materials and building resources since the conception of the project in 2018.

This was announced by the deputy chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), Philippa Samson, in a scoping meeting with different terminal operators.

"The new quay will cater for container vessels and tankers primarily and the existing quay that is 370 metres will used for lighter activities until such time that we remove it," she said.

Samson added that many things have changed "since we secured the financing for this project in 2018. We had COVID, we had a huge escalation in the prices in the construction industry. So, we had to really look at what is possible with the financing that we have."

For the extension project, the SPA received $41 million – namely $35 million from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The European Union (EU) has also provided a grant of around $6 million.

Since the project was approved in 2017 and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), there have been major changes to the plan and scope of the project. The Ports Authority and the Department of Environment found it necessary to do an addendum to the ESIA. The meeting on Thursday was part of this process.

Following the presentation of the changes to the project, several people, mainly terminal operators, raised concerns primarily about the fact that the new quay is also meant to be raised by a height of one metre. They were concerned about whether this would affect operations.

Samson said that this raising of the level of the new quay is meant to cater to the expected sea level rise in the future.

"It is understandable because it is different from what we originally advertised and what we envisioned together. So, they do have concerns about how the new port will cater to the traffic. But we would like to reassure them that we have done forecasts and we see what is planned with the existing services from the shipping lines and the planned use of mobile harbour cranes. We foresee that it will be manageable at least for the next 20 years," he added.

Samson said maybe by then "We would have renovated the next part of the quay but it is still left to be seen how things play out but the forecasts show that we can make do with these 310 metres," she explained.

Participants have been given seven days to formally submit their comments regarding the proposed change to the project.

The Port of Victoria of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is the only port that handles the import and export of goods for the country.

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Tags: Seychelles Ports Authority, Agence Française de Développement, European Investment Bank, European Union

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