SFA gets containerized ice plants to boost production



The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) has received two containerized ice plants with the capacity of 10 tonnes each which will significantly increase the total capacity of ice production in the country to 47 tonnes.

One is already in the country and the other is expected by December 28, 2015 due to ship delay.

They will be installed at Victoria and at Bel Ombre. For Victoria, the new plant will complement the existing supply being provided by Oceana Fisheries and Sea Harvest. This will prevent fishermen from heading to Providence and causing congestion there.

As for Bel Ombre, the demand there is higher than the production capacity as the plant serves most fishermen and the public from the North of Mahé.

The new containerized ice plants are a government investment of R8.2 million. This include the cost of the plants themselves and the civil works to be done on ground which include the building of a roof and a basement for them to stand on.

The shortages of ice in the country have been a major concern for fishermen over the past six months to the point of causing much hardship to livelihood. The management of SFA has been working hard to find solutions to this problem and the installation of the two new containerized ice plants is part of the many actions being implemented by the authority to solve the issue.

Currently there are five ice plants with three R22 refrigerated ones at Anse a la Mouche, Anse Royale, Baie Ste Anne, Praslin and two ammonia ones at Bel Ombre and Providence. All five are producing ice at a total capacity of 27 tonnes.

Giving an update on the ice situation in the country, the chief executive of the SFA Vincent Lucas said most of the authority’s existing ice plants have been overhauled and they are now functioning at 90 to 100 percent.

“It happens at times there are power cuts or gas is reduced but these are normal things that happen to all machinery. But we are making sure they are working to the maximum,” said Mr Lucas.

Referring to the new containerized ice plants which will boost production by an additional 20 tonnes, Mr Lucas said they are in the process of doing civil works where plans and other relevant documents have already been forwarded to the Seychelles Planning Authority for approval. The works are expected to be completed in about four to five weeks.

“The new plants are from Germany and is a new type of ice system in the country. It is a new technology and its ice are expected to be of a much higher quality than those we already have,” added Mr Lucas.

To prevent the recurring problem of ice plant breakdowns and to ensure constant monitoring of these facilities, Mr Lucas said SFA is contracting out maintenance works on the plants to two companies, with one being local Refrigeration System Services (RSS,) which is already maintaining the authority’s current plants.

SFA plans to refurbish the ice plants at Anse a la Mouche, Anse Royale and Baie Ste Anne, Praslin to use more efficient and environmentally friendly refrigerants. The authority is also in negotiations with private individuals who have shown interest to venture into ice production.

On the foreign side, negotiations are in an advanced stage with the Japanese government to provide the authority with another 10-tonne ice plant and technical support for capacity building of ice plant maintenance technicians.

The current prices of ice are R10 for 15kg; R15 for 25kg and R30 for 50 kg for fishermen. For the public they are R30 for 15kg; R40 for 25kg and R80 for 50kg. The opening hours are generally from 8am to 3pm.








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