An MoU has been signed in Seychelles to commission a study on how to raise the standard of port services in the region to similar levels throughout the 'Vanilla Islands'. Seychelles currently holds the presidency of the Vanilla Islands group, which comprises Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, Mayotte, and the Maldives.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Ronny Brutus, said that “the study will also help to compare the different ports in the region to bring all ports to the same standard to meet the expectation of visitors. It will help us to adopt the best practices offered by other ports.”
The study is being financed by the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement at a cost of $360,000. The study has been awarded to Inchcape, a company with which Mahe Shipping has enjoyed a long relationship over many years.
More details can be read here.
A new quay to reduce unloading time of purse seiners and relieve congestion in the Seychelles’ Port of Victoria has been offically opened. Ile du Port Handling Services (IPHS) port is a 425-metre commercial fishing quay adjacent Port Victoria.
IPHS constructed and will manage the quay, carrying out stevedoring operations and other port activities. The port will be transferred to the government after recovery of construction and financing costs of US$18 million.
Almost 90 percent of tuna caught in Seychelles’ waters transits Port Victoria. The port is the third largest public-private partnership project made by the Seychelles Government, the others being the Indian Ocean Tuna canning factory and Land Marine, which provides stevedoring at Port Victoria.
The partnership for the port project was between the Seychelles’ government and Luxembourg-based Jaccar Holdings.
Seychelles Government also plans to extend the commercial port to 600m in length.
Seychelles Nation has reported that 38 security personnel from the Seychelles Ports Authority, Seychelles Coast Guard, Anti-Narcotics Bureau, Maritime and Rescue Coordination Centre and Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration have undergone training in anti-terrorism security at Port Victoria.
The training, conducted by security specialists from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the US Navy, aims to raise Port Victoria’s security standards to international safety norms required by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
The training was undertaken after the American Coast Guard had placed Port Victoria on an advisory list for being unsafe after it discovered a number of deficiencies in terms of anti-terrorism security. The training is to tighten up the loopholes in security at Port Victoria through conducting proper search of vehicles, cargo and personnel. The training forms part of a collaborative effort by the American and Seychelles governments to get Port Victoria to be struck off from the advisory list.
The full story can be read here
The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Government of Seychelles have joined forces to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean. Piracy threatens the security of sea trade routes and is estimated to cost the international economy US$7-12 billion per year.
The shipping lanes in ths vicinity of Seychelles EEZ are among the busiest in the world. Under the alliance, the UKHO conducted Navigation, Stabilisation Advice and Training (SONSAT) activities in Seychelles, intended to raise government officials’ awareness of existing infrastructure and other services such as the World-Wide Navigational Warning Service and Rescue Coordination Centres.
The UK Government’s Conflict Stability and Security Fund funded the training out on behalf of the Foreign Commonwealth Office. The programme is part of the UK support to the newly established Regional Centre for Operation Coordination in Victoria.
Seychelles Port Authority plans to expand Port Victoria in order to accommodate larger vessels and more vessels have reached an advanced stage. The existing quay of Port Victoria of 270 metres will be extended an additional 330 metres and will be able to accommodate two ships of up to 250 metres in length at the same time.
The project will is costingt around $107 million and commenced in late 2017. It is expected to and be completed by 2021. Port Victoria was built in 1972, and was last extended in 1986.
Seychelles Ports Authority and partners have imposed stricter controls at the commercial port as the new cruise ship season begins.
The Ports Authority has in the past had problems controlling operators who provide services to tourists with the increase in activity in the port during the cruise ship season, which starts in mid-October and runs until early May each year. For this season, a schedule has been introduced by which taxis, destination management companies and tour operators will be granted access to the port to collect clients.
The full story can be read here.