Seven potential investors have been shortlisted to submit projects to develop fish processing facilities within two years at a newly demarcated fish processing zone at the man-made island of Ile Du Port, said a top official.
The investors were invited to visit the site on Wednesday and the Minister for fisheries, Jean- Francois Ferrari, said, “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.”
He said that presently the site 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,” he added.
The investors can now submit their proposals which will be evaluated for qualification for land allocation by the end of June. Proposals from the seven 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.
Investors also have to state the size of land they will need and their desired location within the area already identified.
The fish processing zone covers approximately 70,000 square metres and the government will be responsible to provide infrastructures for essential services only.
The Seychelles Ports Authority will be constructing a 300-metre 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.
Fisheries is the second top contributor to the economy of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
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.
A potential investor, Randolph Payet, said that this is a nice investment opportunity and the successful bidder should bring the highest quality of processed fish product to the market.
Payet said that the government should help encourage the use of renewable energy and should allow a grace period to build after signing the lease agreement.