Extension of Seychelles’ Port Victoria to start next year, official says
The first phase of the extension and rehabilitation project of the Seychelles’ Port Victoria will start next year with dredging and construction of a 300 metre-quay, said a top official.
The Minister of Transport, Anthony Derjacques, told a press conference on Thursday that “the second phase will start immediately after the first one and it consists of constructing another 300 metres of quay wall. The third phase will be dredging the basin and approach channel to 16.5 metres but it will be done at a later stage.”
For the extension project, the Seychelles Ports Authority has received $41 million — $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.
However, the Seychelles Port Authority, said that additional financing of approximately $37 million will be necessary for the completion of the project which was expected to be completed by 2021.
Due to financial constraints and the COVID-19 pandemic, the groundwork has not been able to start. Derjacques said that part of the project will be done through private partnerships to acquire finance to develop the infrastructures.
Derjacques said that all three phases would need to respect international procedures and it is anticipated that various components shall be subcontracted to local contractors, thus, creating new job opportunities.
The chief executive of the authority, Ronny Brutus, said that “upon completion, the new port facilities will provide better service to the vessels coming into Port Victoria and increase the revenue collected by the authority. The port will be able to handle modern handle gearless vessels, thus, facilitating container handling. It will be able to accommodate bigger and more vessels at once.”
The Minister said that Port Victoria is the gateway to the Seychelles’ economy “whereby 95 percent of all that we consume is pass through prior to reaching the shelves, the clothes that we wear, the vehicle that we drive, and also serve as the point of export for value-added or raw products produced in Seychelles.”
The port of Victoria of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is the only port of the island nation that handles the import and export of goods for the country.