>@Tim Smit/EIB

  • EUR 12.5 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) coupled with EUR 5 million European Union (EU) grant to finance modernisation and enlargement of Seychelles’ main commercial harbour, Port Victoria.
  • Agence Française de Développement (AFD) also to provide EUR 16.5 million loan to project.
  • EUR 2 million worth of technical assistance will also be put at the disposal of the SPA.

During a public ceremony held in the presence of H.E. Danny Faure, President of the Republic of the Seychelles, agreements were signed between the European Investment Bank, the European Union and the Seychelles Ports Authority to finance the rehabilitation and expansion of the commercial part of the Port Victoria harbour. On the same occasion, the French development agency (AFD) also signed a memorandum pledging a loan in support of the project.

The project entails the detailed design and construction of a new quay, offset from the existing quay, and demolition as necessary of the existing quay. The port’s yard area will be extended and dredging works will be carried out, allowing larger vessels into the harbour and increasing overall port capacity. The interventions will mean an increase in the port’s safety and environmental performance in the handling of goods, and overall improvement of the efficiency of port operations.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle commented: “The European Union is by far the largest trading partner for the Seychelles, making it all the more important for the EU to support this project. Through it, the local port authority will be able to ensure the secure and environmentally sound handling of goods, while the port’s capacity will also be enlarged. The EU bank is proud to lend its support to this project, which we expect to have a significant impact on the Seychelles’ economic competitiveness, employment creation and sustainable growth as well as supporting local trade and industry.”

The EU Ambassador to the Republic of Seychelles, H.E. Marjaana Sall, indicated that: ''The Port Victoria project is one of the first projects in the Indian Ocean region to be funded through the Africa Investment Facility, which is part of the European External Investment Plan. This project, as well as the EUR 10 million Programme that will be signed in support of the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement, are part of EU support for Seychelles' ambitious integration agendas. Those projects will help boost investment in the Seychelles, ensure that its exports are competitive, and facilitate access to the global market, thereby contributing to sustainable growth. Those projects will also have a positive social impact and create new job opportunities."

The French Ambassador to the Seychelles, H.E. Lionel Majesté-Larrouy, added: “This upgraded facility will generate new opportunities for regional cooperation. La Réunion, Mayotte and the Département des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises, all European territories neighbouring the Seychelles, expect to develop regional routes in close collaboration with the Seychelles. Cruise tourism is one example where this modernised infrastructure could generate mutual benefits for all the regional stakeholders, supported by the Association des Ports des Îles de l’Océan Indien (APIOI). After financing significant investments in the ports of Mauritius and La Réunion, AFD is proud to be part of this “European Alliance” to fund a key piece of infrastructure in the Seychelles.”

The Chairman of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Paul Hodoul, said: “I want to assure you that the proceeds of the loan that we have signed today will be well spent and I have no doubt that, upon its completion, the new Mahé Quay will be able to accommodate much larger vessels that are presently by-passing us because of our limitations, thus cutting the feeder status of Port Victoria. The new Port Victoria will be the catalyst for greater efficiency, smoother flow of port activities, and more mass transportation which can contribute to a lower unit cost of transporting containers. This is expected to help bring down the cost of living in our country.”