INDIAN OCEAN’S LEADING CRUISE PORT AWARDEE CELEBRATES SEVEN YEARS OF EXISTENCE-Ports authority proud of achievements


15-October-2011

Driving of first pile for the construction of the Eve Island Port development project , Praslin, by the President Michel, October 2009

Since its creation as an autonomous commercial entity in October 2004, the SPA – backed by an all-Seychellois team – has seen major transformations in its administration, business and commercial orientations, as well as in operational aspects.

When it was created seven years ago, the SPA board, management and staff understood the extent of the work ahead to convert Port Victoria into the most vibrant and dynamic port of the region.

With such in mind, an ambitious mission was crafted, which was engaged in serving clients Team action in progress! The operational staff work 365 days a year to ensure the smooth operation of vesselsby responsibly developing and maintaining the properties and facilities to encourage sustainable economic growth, while providing modern port facilities that build upon the character and environmental resources of Seychelles.

Inspired by its core values such as service and people excellence, integrity, innovation and dynamism, the SPA has been able to overcome many challenges that were on its way to achieve so much in so little time.

SPA’s achievements over the past seven years

International award
In 2010, the SPA received the 2010 Best Indian Ocean Cruise Port award. This award reflects the hard work of SPA’s workforce to deliver a high quality service to every single vessel that call to Port Victoria.

24 hour service

Port Victoria has been operating on a 24 hour basis, 365 days a year since 2005. This has resulted in numerous positive results for the SPA and for Seychelles. For example, there has been a major improvement in efficiency and turnaround time of vessels.

SPA is certified to international security standard with strong and devoted security team

Modernisation of operational fleet

As part of the SPA’s operational and business strategy, two new tugs and multi-purpose pilot launch were acquired. The modernisation of the operational assets has no doubt improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the SPA’s operations to deliver a higher quality of service.

International Security Standard

Vice-President Danny Faure commissioning the new tugs in June 2010

In 2005 and 2006 respectively, the Commercial Port and the Fishing Port got international security certification that has put it on par with international security standards and regulations. 

Regional and international cooperation

SPA’s chief executive Lt Col Andre Ciseau welcoming the guests to the ceremony

The SPA has strengthened its ties with various regional and international bodies. It currently holds membership of the Ports Association of the Indian Ocean (PAIO), the Port Management Association of Eastern & Southern Africa (PMAESA), as well as holding a twinning agreement with the Port of Marseille.  

Infrastructural development

Praslin
Combining the cargo and passenger activities with the rapid growth of Praslin, Baie Ste Anne jetty had for the recent years, became congested to chaotic proportions, seeing fierce competition between cargo and passenger activities.  

New Eve Island Port  SPA’s strengths

In order to permanently solve the situation, the SPA has found it necessary to build a modern port on Eve Island through the support of the Seychelles government, with land allocated to the SPA. The project, which is currently almost through, when finished will have 100 metres of quay for cargo, 78 metres of quay for passengers with associated facilities.

As an integral part of the safety component of the project, SPA, in collaboration with the Seychelles Petroleum Company has created a 50-metre navigational channel and a 100-metre turning basin to allow safe maneuvering of vessels.   

Human resources development

The SPA has doubled its workforce from 88 in 2004 to 164 in 2011 with the increased absorption of the ex-Transec into the SPA’s new Port Police Unit. The increase of labour force has also been in line with additional services, now being offered by the SPA.  

The SPA values its human resources as pivotal to all its achievements. Without the commitment and determination of its staff, it would not have had a reason to celebrate today.

Fire fighting trainingSPA staff having a good time on Labour Day! SPA greatly values the importance of socialising  amongst employees as it helps build team spirit

It is in this line that the SPA adopts an approach which seeks to gain competitive advantage through the strategic development of a highly committed and capable workforce.

As part its achievements, the SPA has been able to develop a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy, which is desired of many organisations in Seychelles.

SPA’s medium and long term vision

Having achieved most of its short terms objectives, the SPA has geared up towards the achievements of its medium and long term goals (2010-2015+).
The major target to hit within the next few years would be to increase the berthing space at the Mahe quay by at least 500 metres, together with the deepening of the Victoria basin and channel which will attract bigger vessels with deeper draft requirements, thus giving Port Victoria the extra cutting edge it needs to become the region’s most dynamic and vibrant port.
In the SPA’s medium term development plan, some of the projects also featured are:

Active consultation in progress

• Re-development of the La Digue jetty to increase its capacity to do business, thus creating more economic activity on the island

• Transformation of Baie Ste Anne jetty into a tourism waterfront attraction for both locals and tourists;

SPA’s emerging markets, issues and challenges


The following issues has been identified as emerging market issues which SPA will have to tackle in order to achieve all its targets:   
• Impending revision of rates and tariffs that could substantially increase SPA revenue
• More land to be allocated to SPA for port expansion and increased economic activities
• Closer collaboration and partnerships with regional and international bodies and institutions that can lead to more expertise, exchange of ideas, training, grants, loans of low interests etc
• Closer collaboration or partnership with big companies to consider Port Victoria as business hub
• The possibility of securing private-public partnership with some investors
• The existence of a workforce that welcomes training as long as their efforts are recognised
• New avenues whereby the SPA can invest its funds and generate a profitable return

CONCLUSION

The SPA is indeed grateful for all support given by the government, under the patronage of its parent ministry, as well as its stakeholders and partners. 

An aerial view of Port Victoria

During the past years, the SPA has not been spared from external factors of change such as the global economic meltdown and the negative effects of increased maritime insecurity in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.

Remaining a captive market, the SPA is faced with greater challenge to innovate in order to create the right competitive edge over the other ports of the region.

In line in government vision for a new Seychelles, the SPA has embraced the government’s 2020 vision and is geared up to ensure that Port Victoria continues to become the gateway to Seychelles’ economy for many years to come.

99% of all goods consumed locally pass through Port Victoria, making it indeed the Gateway to the Seychelles Economy. With increased economic activities in Seychelles, there is great need to expand the Mahe quay to at least 500 more metres

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