Pile driving begins for new quay at Ile du Port


The ministerial delegation at the site where work has started to build a new quay at Ile du Port

Minister Joel Morgan, who is responsible for port as he holds the portfolio of Home Affairs and Transport, and Natural Resources and Industry Minister Peter Sinon, who is responsible for fisheries, jointly pressed a button, sending the first pile downward into the bedrock launching the quay construction.

The 124-metre wide quay will be used by purse seiners to load salt and also handle tuna for processing as well as nets for repair.

The giant 600mm diameter steel tube pipes, which have a pin at the end, are driven by a vibratory hammer to penetrate the bedrock.

They are all operated from a 40-ton crane sitting on a floating barge at zone 14 of Ile du Port.
Similar machinery was used by the contractor, Vijay Construction, last year when piling for erection of the wind turbines at Ile du Port and Ile Romainville, as part of the wind farm – the largest alternative energy project to date.

Marc D’Offay, who designed the jetty and is consultant for Vijay Construction, told Nation that four piles will be driven in each grid line – every six metres.  On top of the piles will sit a concrete beam and deck.

Mr Morgan said the start of the piling marks an important step in the development of this part of Ile du Port for industrial fishing.

He recalled that over a year ago, several local operators were given parcels of land in that zone for net repairs, fish processing and other related business.

He said provision has been made for cold storage and other facilities.

Mr Sinon said after the reclaimed land has been surveyed and cleared, pile driving marks the start of work in the sea.

He noted that with a depth of 9 to 10 metres, purse seiners will be able to berth and take on salt, while unloading fish for processing.  Nets for repair will also be handled at the quay and this will cut down on traffic pressure as trucks bearing such items, presently have to cross central Victoria.

Mr Sinon said Spanish, Portuguese and other interested investors are looking for such logistics when planning development.

He noted that besides canning tuna, there is a lot of potential in other processing activities such as loins.
“We must tap our blue gold to its full potential,” he said.
Mr Sinon said the project, which should be completed by July, is costing some R50 million, most of it funded by the European Union whose ships are fishing in Seychelles’ exclusive economic zone.

It is envisaged that with the decline in piracy, many ships which had left the western Indian Ocean and were no longer stopping at Port Victoria, will be returning to the zone.

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