quarta-feira, 27 de abril de 2011

Northern Territory Government confirms economic advantages of onshore processing

April 27, 2011
Díli, Timor-Leste

This week the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Paul Henderson, supported Timor-Leste’s claims of the economic benefits flowing from onshore processing with statements made on April 26. Henderson noted the Territory’s oil and gas supply industry could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars within a decade, perhaps ten or twenty times the current estimated intake of $150 million per annum. Henderson has for a number of years emphatically repeated the merits of the “hugely important” benefits that to date have flowed principally from the LNG piped to Darwin from the Bayu-Undan gas field in the Timor Sea, part of the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) shared between Timor-Leste and Australia. Henderson also took the opportunity to express his disappointment that the Australian regional field Prelude was slated for Floating LNG which would result in a loss of jobs to the economy.

Timor-Leste’s own supply base is underway in the Suai district on the south coast and is the first project of a number to be rolled out as a part of the LNG based development clusters in Suai, Betano and Beaco. The supply base is dedicated to supporting oil and gas industries in the Timor Sea in both Timor-Leste’s Exclusive Zone and the JPDA and will include amongst other key features; a seaport, a container park, a warehouse logistics area, administration buildings, oil office buildings, pipe racks, a fuel storage area, heavy metal works and an offshore drilling heliport. The Suai base will support the Greater Sunrise project and others and is anticipated to be equally, if not more economically beneficial to Timor-Leste, as Bayu- Undan was and continues be to Darwin.

The onshore piping of gas from the Bayu-Undan field some 500kms to Darwin has already had an enormous economic impact on the Northern Territory economy since 2005; however, Timor-Leste’s model stands to be a more innovative regional fusion with its geographical inclusion in the Indonesian Archipelago and with the nations’ South Coast ripe for substantial development as a close regional outlet.

As the treaties co-signed by the Australian Government and Timor-Leste advocate the “shared benefits” of resources in the JPDA, Timor-Leste is preparing and developing it’s projects on the South Coast so the Timorese people will now benefit from on shore activities; with a focus on ensuring employment opportunities, development of industries and services and promoting training and scholarship. Core infrastructure works are underway to contribute to sustainable long-term economic development around the petroleum sector to contribute to poverty alleviation and eradication.

In 2010 Timor-Leste was only the third country in the world to achieve full compliance status with the world’s benchmark body on transparency in the management of petroleum revenue, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In August, Timor-Leste will be holding the EITI’s Regional Conference. Timor-Leste has encouraged its close neighbor Australia to also join the ranks of EITI compliant countries to ensure best practice principles and oil field practice are conducted throughout the region. ENDS

Ágio Pereira
The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and
Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste.
+670 723 0011 E-mail: agio.pereira@cdm.gov.tl or govtlmedia@gmail.com
Website: www.timor-leste.gov.tl

quinta-feira, 21 de abril de 2011

Parting comments of Woodside CEO dishonour Timor-Leste

April 21, 2011
Díli, Timor-Leste

In a press conference after Wednesday’s Annual General Meeting of Woodside Petroleum, the outgoing CEO, Mr. Don Voelte, accused the Government of Timor-Leste of acting against the interests of its people by “objecting to Sunrise being built”. He admitted that he “didn’t get it”, going on to say the Government “must be objecting to promoting the quality of life and improving the livelihood of their people.”

Firstly, the Government of Timor-Leste takes this opportunity to wish Mr. Voelte the very best in his future endeavors. It is regrettable however, for both the people of Timor-Leste and Woodside shareholders that Mr. Voelte “doesn’t get it”.

To be perfectly clear the Government and the people of Timor-Leste want Sunrise to be built. The nation looks forward to the benefits that can and will flow to the Timorese people.

In fact it is precisely the Government’s commitment to promoting the quality of life and improving the livelihood of the Timorese people that drives the desire to see the development piping Sunrise LNG the short distance to the shores of Timor-Leste. The desire for on shore piping of Sunrise LNG is deeply held by all political parties and sectors of Timorese society.

Not even Mr. Voelte could deny that this option will provide the best outcome for the people of Timor-Leste compared to Woodside’s proposed Floating LNG Technology. One only has to look at the benefits enjoyed in Darwin that have flowed from the piping of LNG from the Bayu-Undan field. In terms of jobs, industry, and sustainable economic development this is what Mr. Voelte would call a “no brainer” – clearly the best development choice for promoting the quality of life and improving the livelihood of the Timorese people.

As far as the Government of Timor-Leste is concerned, negotiations continue with the Australian Government through the frameworks set up by the treaties and the Government will continue to honour the established mechanisms for continued negotiation. These mechanisms are to ensure the integrity of the process and will not be subverted. Despite Mr. Voelte’s claims that Woodside have “done everything right”, delays have occurred because of Woodside’s cited issues of non-compliance. One of the most significant of these was caused by Woodside’s reluctance to prepare and deliver the development materials as required by the regulator. Issues around which development option constitutes “best commercial advantage” and “best oil-field practice” as required by the treaties continue to be considered by both Timorese and Australian regulators.

As for Mr. Voelte’s remarks bringing into question the measurement of the Government on nation building after “10, 11 12 years” Spokesperson for the Council of Ministers, Ágio Pereira noted, “we assume Mr. Voelte refers to the first, second, third and fourth constitutional Governments since independence was restored in 2002 and questions principally the significant achievements of previous Governments and the current AMP Government. In this case, again it is regrettable that the CEO ‘doesn’t get it’; and whilst this release will not dignify such ill suited and inappropriate comments with a long response, a simple familiarity with the situation the nation was in 2002 compared to the social, economic and human indices of 2011 reflecting a nation which had suffered and is now unified to reach our current status, will provide his answer. The Government of Timor-Leste looks forward to the development of Sunrise and continuing negotiations through the agreed mechanisms.”ENDS

Ágio Pereira
The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and
Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste
Ágio Pereira +670 723 0011 E-mail: agio.pereira@cdm.gov.tl or govtlmedia@gmail.com
Website: www.timor-leste.gov.tl

quarta-feira, 20 de abril de 2011

Proposta de Lei sobre a Lei da Greve

O Conselho de Ministros reuniu-se esta quarta-feira, dia 20 de Abril de 2011, na Sala de Reuniões do Conselho de Ministros, no Palácio do Governo, em Díli, e aprovou:

1. Proposta de Lei sobre a Lei da Greve

O presente diploma tem como objectivo regular um direito constitucional, que pode ser utilizado pelos trabalhadores como instrumento de reivindicação dos seus interesses. A greve propicia a negociação colectiva entre os trabalhadores e a entidade empregadora no sentido de se chegar a acordo entre as partes.

A Lei da Greve pretende equilibrar os interesses em causa e procura encontrar a solução mais correcta, privilegiando o interesse colectivo sobre o interesse individual, estabelecendo regras moderadoras vitais para o crescimento da economia e dinamização laboral num país, como Timor-Leste, em franco desenvolvimento.

São definidas as regras para o exercício deste direito e os respectivos procedimentos, como os fins a que se destina, a liberdade de adesão, as áreas de actividade em que este direito é proibido e as limitações ao seu exercício, greve ilícitas e respectiva penalização.

2. Decreto-Lei que estabelece o Quadro de Qualificações de Timor-Leste

O presente diploma estabelece um sistema nacional de qualificações para o ensino, baseado no conjunto de critérios e padrões internacionais, directamente relacionados com os níveis de aprendizagem alcançados. Trata-se de uma mudança importante nos conceitos e na discrição das qualificações porque permite compará-las de acordo com as competências a que correspondem e não com os métodos ou vias de ensino e formação pelos quais foram adquiridos.

O Quadro de Qualificações Nacionais de Timor-Leste é um instrumento de desenvolvimento capaz de melhorar e de garantir a credibilidade e a qualidade das qualificações existentes e o seu reconhecimento internacional.

Esta medida habilita, ainda, os estudantes a tomar decisões sobre as qualificações e níveis que pretendem, bem como a identificar caminhos de progressão nas carreiras escolhidas, dentro do sistema alargado do ensino pós-secundário. O objectivo final futuro é o de considerar mais os níveis de habilitações académicas adquiridas do que o local onde foram adquiridas.

3. Decreto do Governo sobre a atribuição do subsídio de risco aos funcionários da electricidade de Timor-Leste (EDTL)

O Conselho de Ministros considera necessário introduzir um incentivo retributivo adicional que compense os riscos a que estão sujeitos os funcionários que trabalham nos serviços de electricidade de Timor-Leste (EDTL).

No exercício das suas funções estes funcionários estão sujeitos, permanentemente, a situações de stress e de risco físico por diversos factores, designadamente o ruído, vibrações, ambiente térmico, manipulação e transportes de cargas, riscos eléctricos, de incêndios e explosões.

Este subsídio remuneratório tem como objectivo compensar esse risco, tentando fazer corresponder o nível salarial dos funcionários da EDTL ao grau de responsabilidade e exigências específicas da respectiva actividade.

O Conselho de Ministros analisou, ainda:

1. Peace Dividend Trust

A Peace Dividend Trust é uma organização sem fins lucrativos, criada em 2005, que faz a ligação entre os produtores locais e compradores internacionais para ajudar a direccionar o investimento internacional directamente para a economia local, reforçando o sector privado e um aumentando o emprego.

A organização apresentou ao Conselho de Ministros o projecto que tem em curso em Timor-Leste (que termina no final de Junho deste ano) no sentido de o continuar, ajustando-o ao Plano Estratégico de Desenvolvimento Nacional.


sexta-feira, 15 de abril de 2011

Correcting misinformation on National Electricity Project

It is common practice for opposition parties to criticise works conducted by the Government; Timor-Leste is no exception. However, it is equally important to ensure any erroneous and purposefully misleading information is rectified.

Therefore the recent statement released on the 4th of April by Fretilin’s Member of Parliament, Mr. Aniceto Guterres, regarding the electrification of the country should be corrected.

The Fretilin media release was titled Government Incompetence killing the National Electrification Project. By way of background the National Electrification project was developed and is being implemented under the leadership of the Xanana Gusmão Government. The magnitude of the project, which maps the entire topography of the country, makes it the largest infrastructure project ever to be rolled out in Timor-Leste; a bold endeavour that was not attempted by any previous Government.

Mr Guterres begins his statement saying:

Timor Leste’s National Electrification Project has been clouded by failed contracts let without tender and its estimated cost has almost tripled to US$ 900 Million
The cost would likely go even higher because the project which started in 2008 is less than half built, although it is difficult to measure how much has been completed

This statement is incorrect. The electrification of the country is not at all clouded by failed contracts assigned without tender. The tender process is explained below. If Mr. Guterres is referring to reparation and maintenance works required to the Comoro power plant generators then he should be aware Government procurement laws allow emergency works to be procured by Direct Appointment procedure where criteria are met. Concerning the cost, which he says has tripled up to US$ 900 Million - Mr. Guterres must explain how he calculated such a figure. He goes on to say:

In 2008 the Gusmão Government contracted the China Nuclear Industry N.22 (CNI22) company without tender

This statement is incorrect. An Expression of Interest for the ‘Construction of a Nationwide Electrical Power Grid and Power Plant and its Facilities’ was publicly advertised on the Ministry of Finance website, with proposals requested by 4 July 2008. Fifteen Letters of Interest/Proposals were received. One company failed to qualify because of a late submission. Of the final 14 companies, nine did not comply with the full proposal with the remaining five shortlisted as they had satisfied the required terms of reference. Following evaluation, the contract was awarded to the CNI 22 Construction Company. The Fretilin statement claims the contract was awarded to:

CNI22 to provide and install old and highly-polluting heavy fuel generators, substations and a national medium voltage transmission line at a total cost of US$ 377 Million – almost one third of the sum now budgeted to be spent by completion

The price of US$ 377 Million was based on the deployment of reconditioned generating sets and to supply a power grid of 110 KV. Mr. Guterres, as a Member of National Parliament, should be aware that as a matter of due diligence and oversight, the Government appointed a Consulting Company to monitor and supervise the project. The Italian consultant ELC & Bonifica (Joint Venture) was selected as a result of an international tender. Mr. Guterres should also be aware that the Italian Consultant ELC & Bonifica redesigned the CNI22 proposed power grid upgrading from 110KV to 150KV and expanded the network from 630 km of lines to 715 km covering the whole nation without increasing the original contract price. This upgrade of the power grid will result in the better distribution of power to all districts. The Fretilin release goes on to say:

However, in November 2009, after opposition from FRETILIN and national civil society groups, Mr. Gusmão ditched the Chinese heavy fuel generators in favour of new dual fuel capability generators from Finnish company Wartsila – again without a tender.

This statement is incorrect. Mr. Guterres should be acutely aware that in November 2009 a delegation of Members of National Parliament went to visit recently constructed power plants in Indonesia. The delegation was impressed and enthusiastic about a power plant built with Wartsila Generating Sets. During an open debate in the National Parliament it was decide that the two power plants in Timor-Leste would be built with brand new Generating Sets with a dual combustion system (HFO and Natural Gas). CNI22 was instructed to cancel the (reconditioned) generators and to submit a proposal for new generators. In the CNI22 Contract Amendment No. 2 this information is specified.

In order to have a comparison of prices for the Power Plants using the generators requested by National Parliament, the Government invited two Indonesian companies to submit quotations: Puri Energi and Akraya International. The two companies submitted a joint proposal. The assignment of the contract for the two Power Plants was therefore done through an accurate analysis and a selection was made after considering which proposal represented the best offer between two bidders: CNI22 and Puri Akraya. Mr Gueterres’ confusion becomes more apparent as he states:

China’s CNI22 would remain contractually responsible for building the power stations, substations and transmission lines, under the supervision of Italian Consultant ELC & Bonifica, who were retained by the Government

This statement is incorrect. CNI22 is not responsible for building the power plants. CNI22 was officially notified by the Government that in accordance to the clause 44 of the contract (Termination for Convenience of the Owner) the two power plants Hera and Betano have been removed from the scope of work. CNI22 remains responsible for the Power Grid (transmission lines and substations) plus the Oil Tanks of Hera. Mr Guterres continues to demonstrate his misunderstanding of the facts saying:

Mr. Gusmão had never explained why he was determined to give the original contract to the Chinese CNI22 company without a tender

This statement is incorrect. As explained clearly above, CNI22 was selected for the project through a transparent tender procedure. Guterres insists:

Other companies put forward better alternatives but the government specified it had to be heavy fuel, meaning the process was a charade to ensure the contract went to CNI22

The Government invites Mr. Guterres to give evidence of those better alternatives submitted.

the Government has refused to show parliament copies of the contract documents nor any of the technical studies , if any were ever done

The contracts documents are bound by clauses of Non Disclosure of Information. Further Mr. Guterres says:

other National Electrification project contracts let without tender went to the Indonesian company Tehate for the construction of the Liquica – Maliana – Suai – Betano part of the power transmission grid, and the Indonesian company Puri Akraya Engineering Limited, for Procurement.

Again this statement is incorrect. Tehate company is a subcontractor of CNI22 and the Tehate company has been contacted and appointed directly by CNI22 who has the right to subcontract, as normal operating procedure for infrastructure projects of this scale. The Government has only to approve Tehate company as subcontractor of CNI22. Puri Akraya Engineering Limited has no affiliation to procurement for this part of the transmission grid. The statement continues:

Monitoring and oversight of the works by ELC & Bonifica points to costly delays, very poor workmanship and mismanagement of environmental and workplace safety by CNI22 In its report of January 2011 ELC & Bonifica said; with the present trend we believe that the Contractor is not able to meet the completion dates given to H.E. the Prime Minister.

ELC & Bonifica as Owner’s Engineers have been mandated by the Government to report on the progress of the works. As per the mandate, ELC & Bonifica has been encouraged by the Government to report with full transparency. This demonstrates a transparent process by all parties involved from the Government to Contractors. ELC & Bonifica reported the works performed by CNI22 had not been satisfactory in terms of quality or in terms of scheduled benchmarks. After strong pressure from the Owner’s Engineers, the Management of CNI22 enacted remedies including amongst others replacing underperforming staff with more expert and qualified personnel and shipping additional equipment from China. Results in March have been encouraging. The quality of the workmanship notably improved as well as accelerated progress in construction achieved. CNI22 Management reiterated its determination and commitment to the completion date of the power grid. Puri Akraya Engineering Limited continues to be firmly committed to having three of the seven generators operating at the Hera Power Plant by November 2011.

Mr. Guterres is certainly aware that a delegation from the National Parliament joined representatives from EDTL on March 16, 2011 to witness the Wartsila Factory Acceptance Test in Europe. The test results of the three Generating Sets were very successful, signalling the process is on schedule for the set completion dates.

Díli, April 15, 2011

)* The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and
Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

quarta-feira, 6 de abril de 2011

Conselho dos Combatentes da Libertação Nacional

O Conselho de Ministros reuniu-se esta quarta-feira, dia 6 de Abril de 2011, na Sala de Reuniões do Conselho de Ministros, no Palácio do Governo, em Díli, e analisou:

1. Parcerias Público-Privadas (PPP) em Timor-Leste

Esta apresentação sobre PPP reflecte o forte empenho do Governo em conseguir melhores serviços de infra-estruturas através de um maior envolvimento do sector privado no financiamento, construção e funcionamento destas infra-estruturas públicas.

A criação de infra-estruturas através de acordos de PPP resulta num maior desenvolvimento do sector privado, podendo contribuir para o crescimento do Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) ao longo da vida do Plano Estratégico de Desenvolvimento para 2011 a 2030.

2. Proposta de Lei sobre a Primeira alteração à Lei do Fundo Petrolífero

A Lei n.º 9/2005, de 3 de Agosto (Lei do Fundo Petrolífero) determina uma revisão, cinco anos após a constituição do Fundo Petrolífero.

Este diploma pretende alterar as regras e princípios de investimento, permitindo uma maior flexibilidade da diversificação da carteira de aplicações, de maneira a aumentar, no futuro, o retorno dos investimentos, definindo claramente os limites de exposição ao risco. Para além disso, a Lei clarifica os requisitos a cumprir pelo Governo, caso seja necessário realizar uma transferência para o Orçamento Geral do Estado acima do Rendimento Sustentável Estimado, promovendo, no futuro, maior flexibilidade relativamente à entidade responsável pela Gestão Operacional directa do Fundo. São alteradas, também, as regras de nomeação dos membros e composição do Comité de Assessoria para o Investimento.

Um dos principais documentos considerados durante a revisão da presente Lei foi produzido pelo Grupo de Trabalho internacional sobre “Fundos de Riqueza Soberana” (Fundos Soberanos): Princípios e Práticas Geralmente Aceites, também designados como “Princípios de Santiago”. Estes princípios representam um esforço de cooperação internacional de identificação das melhores práticas de gestão destes fundos, em particular, nas áreas da governação e da política de investimentos, tendo o Governo proposto a actual revisão da Lei do Fundo Petrolífero de acordo com estes princípios, com o objectivo de assegurar que Timor-Leste continua a ser um exemplo da melhor prática internacional ao nível da gestão deste tipo de Fundos.

3. Decreto-Lei que cria o Conselho dos Combatentes da Libertação Nacional

O presente diploma prevê a estrutura do Conselho dos Combatentes de Libertação Nacional, criado em Fevereiro deste ano pelo Parlamento Nacional através da alteração do artigo 35.º do Estatuto dos Combatentes da Libertação Nacional. De acordo com este artigo, o Conselho dos Combatentes da Libertação Nacional, é o único órgão representativo dos interesses de todos os Combatentes da Libertação Nacional, e “órgão de consulta do Governo para assuntos relacionados com a defesa dos interesses dos veteranos (...) bem como para outros que respeitem aos combatentes da Libertação Nacional”.

O referido artigo define, ainda, que: “a estrutura do Conselho dos Combatentes da Libertação Nacional é definida por Decreto-Lei, em consulta com as organizações representativas dos Combatentes da Libertação Nacional”.

4. Decreto-Lei sobre o Licenciamento de Actividades Comerciais

Este Decreto-Lei tem como objectivo estabelecer mecanismos para corrigir as debilidades que se verificam no sector do comércio, e que, ao mesmo tempo, permitam criar uma maior organização, aproximação e convergência de todos os tipos de comércio. Pretende-se, assim, garantir uma maior disciplina da actividade comercial, para dar resposta à evolução que se tem vindo a verificar neste sector.

De salientar que o comércio constitui um elemento fundamental para uma estrutura económica moderna, devido à sua influência significativa na estruturação territorial e populacional da sociedade, na criação de empresas e empregos.

Reunião do Conselho de Ministros de 6 de Abril de 2011