Seychelles' port expansion means bigger ships, better technology, security
Aerial view of the Port Victoria Seychelles (Seychelles Port Authority)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Authorities plan to expand Port Victoria in Seychelles to serve more -- and larger -- vessels, a top official of the Seychelles Port Authority said.
The existing quay of Port Victoria, currently 270 metres long, will be extended an additional 330 metres and will be able to accommodate two boats measuring up to 250 metres in length at the same time.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Port Authority, Andre Cisseau, told SNA that, “The expansion followed a decision by the authority and the government to ensure that Seychelles remain the favourable port of call in the region.”
Ciseau said that the development will allow the authority to serve a greater size and capacity of vessel entering the port.
The project will cost around $107 million and is expected to start in late 2017 and be completed by 2021.
Franky Laporte, the project manager, said that the decision to extend also takes evolving port standards into consideration.
"Once the project is completed, it will include new shipping technology, port safety and security measures,” said Laporte, adding that: “The expansion will open Seychelles to new business investments.”
Port Victoria is the main port of the Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. It is the only port of the island nation that handles the import and export of goods for the country. Opened in 1972, the port was last extended in 1986.
The Director of Business Development of the Seychelles Port Authority, David Bianchi, said that the current port is over-capacity and the time has come to build a new one with modern facilities.
“We noticed that at certain points, especially during peak season, although there is more port being built, it remains congested all the time, and we needed to cramp the vessels together for them to be able to discharge their functions,” said Bianchi.
Bianchi added that with the economic growth in the development of the country’s fishing industry, there is a necessity to introduce more facility.
In his swearing-in ceremony at State House last December, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine said that one of his priorities is to press for the development of a better and highly functional commercial port.
“We are very behind in this area, and today we have a small port which cannot cater for the volume of business we receive. We need a bigger port, and this should be done promptly,” said Loustau-Lalanne.
The extension project will comprise five phases and Bianchi said it will start once the feasible financial study is completed.