Seychelles' Desroches island is consuming 90 percent less fuel thanks to the installation of a 2.5-megawatt solar farm commissioned by the Islands Development Company (IDC).
The solar farm on Desroches was inaugurated on Saturday by President Wavel Ramkalwan and chairperson of the IDC board of directors, Patrick Berlouis. The farm is the second-largest solar plant in Seychelles after the one on Ile de Romainville, a man-made island.
With tourism being the number one economic driver of the island, followed by agriculture, Desroches is home to a branch of the Four Seasons resorts chain which consumes almost half of the electricity generated by the solar farm.
A third 19-seater Beechcraft airplane worth US $2.8 million has been added to IDC’s fleet of aeroplanes.
S7 ALP, names after Alphonse island, arrived in the country earlier this month from South Africa.
A ceremony to welcome the plane was held this morning at the IDC Aviation hangar at Point Larue.
Present for the ceremony were Vice President Ahmed Afif, Minister for Transport Antony Derjacques, IDC chairman Patrick Berlouis, Chief Executive of IDC Glenny Savy, Chief Executive of Al- Salaam Bank Asim Kumar, IDC board members and Aviation staff.
S7 ALP was bought in the United States of America (USA) following an upgrading maintenance of its cockpit and mechanical system. From there it flew to South Africa for internal refurbishment and painting in the IDC aviation colours.
In an interview after the ceremony, Mr. Savy claimed that for the further development needs of the outer islands, a third such aircraft was needed. He also claimed that as a result of the increase in the number of flights to the outer islands, the third aircraft would be handy in the case when another is undergoing maintenance works.
In his remarks the General Manager of IDC Aviation, Captain Marcus Labrosse said in view of continued development and activities happening on the islands, IDC has plans in the near future to replace the three Beechcrafts with a more comfortable and larger capacity fleet of ATR-42 aircrafts fabricated by a European company associated with Airbus.
In his speech to mark the occasion, Minister Derjacques said the new Beechcraft marks another milestone in IDC’s development.
“This shows that there is a thirst to continuously improve connectivity between our islands as well as our country to the world,” Minister Derjacques said, noting that IDC has been a significant contributor to the economy and foreign exchange earner.
The new Beechcraft was blessed by Deacon Louis Agathine from the Catholic Church after which the guests were invited for a tour on board.
The IDC bought its first Beechcraft in 1998 and a second in 2018. The fleet of aircraft also comprises a Dornier and a Y-12.
The tropical cyclone baptised Jobo, formed over the south-western Indian Ocean, hit some of our outer islands earlier this week with maximum sustained winds up to 130 km/h.
“Since Wednesday April 21, Farquhar, Assumption, Astove, Cosmoledo and Aldabra experienced heavy rains, strong winds and high waves but no major damage was caused,” IDC’s chief executive Glenny Savy said in a press conference held yesterday at the IDC (Islands Development Company) headquarters.
On his way back from UNESCO World Heritage site of Aldabra, President Ramkalawan and his delegation stopped on Astove and Farquhar for the official launch of the solar farms on these islands.
The project is an initiative of IDC as a source of alternative energy to reduce the costs and the amount of fuel used to power electricity generators on the islands. The project will also help to protect the environment from pollution.
Work on the two sets of solar farms commenced in October last year and completed in April.
The photovoltaic power station on Astove comprises 342 glass solar panels, capable of producing 150 KW of electricity, which will make up for 93% of the island’s consumption of electricity.
The one on Farquhar has 510 panels which gives an output of 250 KW of electricity. 94% of the island’s electricity needs will be produced by solar energy.
With the setting up on solar farms on another two islands, IDC will make further savings on fuel consumption and transportation of fuel to the islands. The money saved will go towards further infrastructure development on the islands.
The presidential delegation also stopped on Desroches to see ongoing work on the solar farm there. Its capacity will be 2.5MW and will come online in May.
The first solar setup on the outer islands on Alphonse was inaugurated in November 2018.
While on Desroches, the Presidential delegation made a tour of the island and visited the ICS Tortoise Sanctuary, IDC Village, Farm, Guest Houses and the North Point Nature Trail.
Present for the two inauguration ceremonies were the First Lady, Mrs Linda Ramkalawan, the Vice-President, Mr Ahmed Afif, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr Sylvestre Radegonde, the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Mr Flavien Joubert, the Minister for Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, Mr Naadir Hassan, the Chairperson of the Board of IDC, Mr Patrick Berlouis, the CEO of IDC Mr Glenny Savy, the Deputy CEO of IDC Mr Christian Lionnet, Member of the IDC Board Mr Denis Matatiken and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
IDC continues to invest in key infrastructure on the islands under its management.
Further to receiving Environmental and Planning Authority approval, work has started to construct an airstrip on Grand Ile - Cosmoledo Atoll.
A much needed infrastructure to ensure the safety and well being of the islanders. The possibility of having flights to the island will also increase significantly the air surveillance possibility of the atoll.
Thus far, access to the atoll included an air transfer to Astove and sea crossing to Cosmoledo. A risky and challenging affair especially during the south east monsoon.
Low risk convicts at the Montagne Posée prison will get the opportunity to work on the Outer Islands as part of the Prisoner Rehabilitation Programme.
The announcement was made in a joint press conference by the Minister for Internal Affairs, Errol Fonseka, the Chief Executive of IDC, Glenny Savy, Deputy CEO of IDC, Christian Lionnet and the Superintendent of Prison, Raymond St. Ange.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed earlier this week, which gives prisoners with good behaviour the opportunity to work on Coetivy and other outer islands.
The programme is being run by the Prison Service in collaboration with IDC. It aims to give the convicts the opportunity to be productive in society while serving their time and offers them marketable skills that will help them once they leave prison.
The programme is set to officially begin in March with a first group of six selected prisoners who will go to Coetivy. Up to thirty prisoners will be sent to the islands as part of the programme.
All administration and support services for the project will be provided by IDC. While on the islands, inmates will be involved in agriculture, rearing animals, aquaculture and construction among others.
The Luxury Hotels and Resorts brand of Hilton, Waldorf-Astoria has announced that it will be managing the hotel on Platte Island. Waldorf-Astoria is the flagship brand within Hilton's portfolio, and offers the highest standards of facilities and services.
This top-of-the-line brand is a first for Seychelles and IDC is proud to be associated with such a highly reputed brand. The Waldorf Astoria Platte Island's 42 ocean-facing luxury all-villa resort is set to open in 2023.
GICC, a subsidiary of IDC is equally proud to be associated with the Mango House Seychelles LXR Hotels & Resorts, who will manage the 41 spacious and immaculately designed guest rooms including nine suites at Anse aux Poules Bleues. The Mango House Hotel is expected to be operational; in April.
Click on link below to read more:
Seychelles to Welcome Waldorf Astoria and Canopy | Hilton Press Center
As the country accelerates the national drive to vaccinate the population against COVID-19, IDC has also embarked on the programme to vaccinate its staff.
Some 200 staff from all departments within the company answered the call to get vaccinated.
The first and largest group received the Sinopharm vaccine, while the second group of staff above 60 years and those with special health conditions were administered the AstaZeneca vaccine on the following day.
The vaccination was administered by the IDC Medical Team, Dr. David Payet, nurse Danielle Rene and nurse Jodette Jhugroo.
Staff welcomed the initiative by IDC, as it has been observed that lines at the various vaccinations centres are quite long.
IDC are currently looking to fill a number of job vacancies within the company. For more information please click below.