Seychelles Broadcasting Corp.’s new HQ to be completed in December 2022
A new five-storey building, SBC House, that will house the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), the public broadcaster, is expected to be completed in December of this year, the contractor undertaking the project said on Thursday.
This was revealed during a visit of the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, accompanied by SBC board members and chief executive to see the progress.
Construction of the new building, which is being built at Union Vale in the central district of English River on Mahe, started in April 2019 and was expected to end in 2020. The Hunan No.6 Engineering Cooperation is undertaking the project, which was heavily delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are pleased with how the project is going, but we hope that we can make a few adjustments to it before it’s done, to ensure everything is to a good standard when it’s done,” said the chairman of the SBC board, Gerard Lafortune.
SBC House is being financed by a grant from the Chinese government and the estimated cost for the project is SCR240 million ($13 million), inclusive of furniture and equipment.
“The SBC project, which will come along with the state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment, is the largest project funded by the Chinese government in Seychelles in recent years,” said the Chinese ambassador to Seychelles, Guo Wei.
She added that “thanks to the efforts of the contractor, Hunan No.6 Engineering Cooperation and the practical cooperation between the Chinese and Seychelles side, the SBC project is progressing well on track, in spite of the setback of Covid-19, adverse weather and ground conditions.”
The new SBC headquarters will include a number of buildings separated by stairs and open gardens, each with its function. One of the buildings will house the radio station, another will be home to the television operations and an office building will be at the back end of the complex.
A number of issues are also in need of addressing such as parking space and the distance of the station to the main road. Lafortune said that discussions are underway to resolve them.
He added that SBC will also be getting new equipment under the project.
“Yes, we will have new facilities and equipment, but all that means nothing without the staff. So, it will now be up to them to use these facilities and equipment to produce better quality programs and pictures for the audience to enjoy,” Lafortune added.
The SBC house is being built on the site where the SBC radio station used to be, at Union Vale near the capital of Victoria. The national broadcaster is currently located at Hermitage, Mont Fleuri.