Seychelles International Airport was opened on March 20, 1972, by Queen Elizabeth II during the British colonial era. (Gerard Larose)
(Seychelles News Agency) – A masterplan on the redevelopment of the Seychelles International Airport at Pointe Larue is expected to be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers before the end of this year, said the Minister for Transport, Antony Derjacques, on Tuesday.
Derjaques was answering a question from Johan Loze, a proportionate member of United Seychelles, the main opposition party in the National Assembly.
The minister said that when the government took office it decided to start working towards finalising the airport and ports development projects as, after 50 years, both areas needed to be modernised.
He revealed that the government is not negotiating with any government but rather with two companies – the Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Abu Dhabi Airports Company.
In May, a delegation from Seychelles led by President Wavel Ramkalawan, concluded a series of meetings in Abu Dhabi for the two projects.
“The first company is helping us with an operation plan and technical assistance and the other one is for an airport masterplan,” he explained.
Derjacques said that on the airport masterplan, “there is a confidential agreement clause and when it is finalised we will present it to the Cabinet. For the port, there is no formal agreement, they help us in technical ways and this is an exchange that is ongoing.”
A major upgrade for the Seychelles International Airport to cater to the increase in traffic was unveiled last year by Garry Albert, chief executive of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA). It coincided with the 50th anniversary of the airport’s existence, which was opened on March 20, 1972, by Queen Elizabeth II during the British colonial era.
In November 2022, EGIS Emirates was appointed for the review and preparation of an updated 30-year airport master plan for the Seychelles International Airport.
The selection of EGIS Emirates, a global consulting, construction engineering and operating firm, was completed through a request for proposal through a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The MoU was signed between Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), SCAA, and the Ministry of Transport in July 2022.
As for the development of the port, Derjacques said: “The negotiations are advancing and we anticipate that we will have a tender out early next year.”
|The channel and turning basin will be dredged to 16 metres and 15.5 metres respectively, allowing larger vessels to come into port. (Seychelles News Agency)|
Work on the expansion of Port Victoria will turn it into a modern international multi-purpose commercial port. The current quay will be extended 10 metres out to sea towards the man-made island of Ile de Romainville. The channel and turning basin will be dredged to 16 metres and 15.5 metres respectively, allowing larger vessels to come into port.
He added that for the port project, “we have just rediscussed with the European Investment Bank and the Agence Development Francaise, and have agreed to move into a design and build for Port Victoria. We have contracted a South African management team to prepare tender documents.”
Derjacques said Seychelles has received an additional €38 million with the two financing institutions.
“We had previously €32 million and that was not enough. […] All parties are now working to finalise the design and build tender,” he added.
The Port of Victoria of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is the only port that handles the import and export of goods for the country.