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Site Visit on Fish Processing Zone, Ile Du Port

The Minister responsible for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Mr Jean-Francois Ferrari, met with 7 potential investors who have been shortlisted, to submit project proposals for the lease and development of fish processing facilities, within the Fish Processing Zone, at Ile Du Port.

The meeting was held on site at the area that has been designated as the Fish Processing Zone.

It was on the 16th December, 2020, that the Cabinet of Ministers led by President Wavel Ramkalawan approved the creation of the fish processing zone at Ile Du Port, to have a centre dedicated location close to the seafront where fish processing factories are located.

Soon after the announcement, from the 8th to 12th February 2021, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy (MFBE) in partnership with the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) and the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), invited through public tender, Request for Pre-Qualification (RFPQ). The RFPQ targeted businesses/ companies/ joint ventures, wishing to be involved in projects involving the lease and development of fish processing facilities within the Fish Processing Zone, at Ill Du Port. This was done through advertisement in the local media; TV, print and online press. Both local and foreign investors were invited to bid.

An Evaluation Committee chaired by the Principal Secretary for Fisheries, Mr. Roy Clarisse was constituted, with representatives from the Blue Economy Department, SFA, SIB and the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) to evaluate the requests. A total of 13 requests where received.

On the 10th March 2021, all applicants where informed of whether they had successfully passed the RFPQ stage or not, and in accordance with Section 98 of the Public Procurement Act 2008 and Regulation 164, applicants were also informed of their right to appeal if aggrieved by the decision of the Committee. An Appeals Committee independent of the Evaluation Committee was setup to hear appeals that were logged.

Following the appeals process, the 7 successful applicants were informed and can now submit their Request for Proposal to SIB. They will have 30 working days to comply, following which the Evaluation Committee will evaluate the submitted projects for qualification for land allocation. Originally, the Committee was expected to conclude the final evaluation for allocation by 31st May 2021, but due to delay caused by the appeals process, this will now be done towards end of June.

It is important to note that the 7 investors will only be considered based on a series of criteria established by the Evaluation Committee, to ensure synergy and diversification of investments for both local and the export market.

The fish processing zone covers approximately 70, 000 square metres and the government will be responsible to provide infrastructures for essential services only.

The Ministry of Transport and the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), is also involved in this project. SPA will be constructing a 300 meter quay to facilitate fishing and landing access and the authority will also be managing a Central Container yard that will be used by the successful investors to facilitate storage of their products.

In an interview with the media, Minister Ferrari said that this meeting today signifies an important milestone in the progressive future of the fisheries sector in Seychelles, and that this is one of the first fisheries development project he pushed forth as Minister.

‘We wanted to show the investors that we are very serious and what better way to do that than to bring them here on site and show them the potential of the land. Right now it does not look like much but once development starts this will be a fully-fledged, Seychellois led fish processing zone. The government will ensure that all necessary infrastructures such as roads, utilities are put in place so that the investors focus primarily on pooling their finances together and solidifying their business plans’.

Once allocation and development of the fish processing zone is completed, it is expected that production starts mid-2023, and the targeted processed products will be from tuna and tuna-like species, fresh, frozen, and cooked and pre-cooked predominantly for export.