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Public-Private Partnership for Tibar Port:
Helping economic growth or limiting sustainability?

Parseria Públiku-Privadu ba Portu Tibar:
Apoiu kreximentu ekonómiku ka limita sustentabilidade?

15 June 2016.  Updated 29 October 2018.

La'o Hamutuk's blog has a summary of this article.


Blog La'o Hamutuk nian sumariza artigu ida ne'e.



Since 2012, the Timor-Leste Government, with technical assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the World Bank agency focused on the private sector), has been developing a plan to build a major new container port at Tibar Bay. The project is being implemented as a public-private partnership, and in June 2016 the Government signed the concession contract for constructing and operating the port with Bolloré Consortium (made up of Bolloré Africa Logistics and SDV Logistics East Timor).

The new port will be built at Tibar Bay, around 15 kilometers to the west of Dili, covering a large area of the bay itself, as well as land around the western edges of the bay. The project includes a 630 meter-long and 15 meter-deep wharf, as well as a port platform for container and general cargo handling, covering a total area of 24 hectares. In addition, the project involves building warehouses, administration offices and a four-lane dual carriageway between Tibar and Dili.

More details about the plan for Tibar Port are in a presentation IFC gave in February 2013 during public consultations, as well as in their brief and presentation to an investor conference the following month, and in the Questions and Answers that the IFC prepared subsequently. Prior to the conference, IFC hired the Australian company EcoStrategic to assess the environmental and social impacts of Tibar Port.

Before the 2014 budget was delivered in October 2013, IFC gave a presentation to Parliament outlining the plan for the port. Then, in March 2014, IFC published online a scoping summary and annex explaining how they selected the site.


Dezde 2012, Governu Timor-Leste, hamutuk ho asisténsia tékniku husi Korporasaun Finansa Internasionál (IFC, ajénsia Banku Mundiál nian ne’ebé fokus ba setór privadu) dezenvolve hela planu atu konstrui portu bo’ot foun ida iha Baia Tibar. Projetu sei implementa ho modelu parseria públiku-privadu, no iha Juñu 2016 Governu asina kontratu konsesaun ho Bolloré Consortium (ne’ebé kompostu husi Bolloré Africa Logistics ho SDV Logistics Timor-Leste) atu halo konstrusaun no operasaun portu ne’e.

Portu foun ne’e sei harii iha tasi-ibun Baia Tibar, 15 kilometru iha diresaun oeste husi Dili. Portu ne’e sei kobre area bo’ot iha tasi, no mós iha rai laran iha parte oeste tasi-ibun nian. Projetu ne’e inklui fatin ba embarkamentu ró (dermaga) ho naruk 630 metru no aas 15 metru, no mós inklui plataforma ba kontentór no kargu jerál, ho área 24 hektares. Aleinde ne’e, projetu sei inklui konstrusaun armazén, edifísiu ba administrasaun no estrada ho liña haat entre Tibar no Dili.

Detallu liu tan kona ba Portu Tibar bele hare iha aprezentasaun ne’ebé IFC fó iha Fevreiru durante konsultasaun públiku, no mós iha IFC nia rezumu no aprezentasaun ba konferénsia investor sira iha Marsu 2013. Molok konferénsia, IFC kontratu kompañia ida hosi Australia – EcoStrategic – hodi halo avaliasaun ba impaktu sosiál no ambientál ba projetu Portu Tibar.

Molok haruka Orsamentu Estadu 2014 iha Outubru 2013, IFC fó aprezentasaun kona ba Portu Tibar nia planu ba Parlamentu Nasionál. Iha Marsu 2014, IFC públika rezumu informasaun ba area no anexu ne’ebé esplika oinsá sira hili ona fatin ba sira nia website.

How much will Tibar port cost?

The amount that the people of Timor-Leste will have to pay for the project is still unclear. According to the notification to award published in January 2016, the Government will pay $129 million directly to Bolloré, while the operating company will pay for the rest of the construction along with operational and maintenance costs. The total construction cost of the project is expected to approach $400 million. In order to make back their investment, cover their operation costs and earn profit, Bolloré will charge fees to those using the port and will also receive a royalty from the Government based on the tonnage of cargo which passes through the port.

Construction is set to begin in 2016, and the 2016 State Budget (p.41) allocates $94 million for Tibar Port over the next five years. However, this does not cover the $129 million that the Government has already agreed to pay to Bolloré. On 17 June 2016 (just after this article was initially published), LUSA reported that the Ministry of Finance will propose a budget rectification to increase 2016 spending to cover Tibar Port costs, as including it in the still-to-be-finalized 2017 budget would exceed the $1.2 billion fiscal envelope, the largest of the various scenarios discussed by the Council of Ministers on 24 May and 7 June. On 22 June, the Council of Ministers approved the revision, although the Government declined to announce the new amount.

Adding to the uncertainty, media have reported various total costs for the project: one recent report states that the total investment over the term of the concession (thirty years) will be $490 million, while an older article claims that the government would pay $346 million and Bolloré would pay $79 million.

It is likely that there will be unexpected costs which have not been properly calculated at the planning stage, as has happened often with infrastructure projects in Timor-Leste. In addition, an independent study commissioned by the World Bank to evaluate its own PPP projects worldwide found that “contingent liabilities for governments that emerge from PPPs are rarely fully quantified at the project level.” This means that even more of Timor-Leste’s people’s money will probably have to be spent on the project in the future, rather than on essential services like education and health.

Another issue is that if the port does not generate enough returns (see below for further discussion on this), Timor-Leste may have to pay back the company’s lost investment and even cover some of Bolloré's projected profits.

Finally, according to the 2016 General State Budget (p.83), the project “is expected to be funded partially” by loans from the World Bank, European Investment Bank, ADB and perhaps other multilateral agencies – however, these loans are not included in the budget. One loan has already been signed in relation to the Tibar project – in June 2015 the Government agreed to borrow $12 million from ADB (loan agreement) for the construction of a 4-lane dual carriageway between the port site and Tasitolu, Dili. The road upgrade is designed to facilitate increased road traffic between Dili and the new port, but La’o Hamutuk is concerned that it adds to the financial and environmental burden of the port project. Although additional loans to build the port were anticipated in the 2017 state budget, they are not happening.

In June-August 2016, Timor-Leste's Government and Parliament revised the 2016 State Budget, adding $391 million more in spending for physical infrastructure, all of which will come from the Petroleum Fund. According to Book 3A of the revised budget, the Tibar Port project will get $131.28 million in public funds during 2016 (increased from $10 million in the original 2016 budget), and another $140 million in 2017-2020.

Portu Tibar nia kustu hira?

Montante ne’ebé povu Timor-Leste tenke selu ba projetu seidauk klaru. Tuir dokumentu ajudikasaun públika iha Janeiru 2016, Governu sei selu tokon $129 diretamente ba Bolloré, no kompañia operadór sei selu restu kustu konstrusaun nian hamutuk ho kustu operasaun no manutensaun. Kustu konstrusaun bele kuaze tokon $400. Atu hetan fila fali investimentu, kobre kustu operasaun no manán lukru, Bolloré sei hetan pagamentu husi kompañia sira ne’ebé mak uza portu no mós Governu sei selu impostu (royalty) bazeia ba tonelada sasán ne’ebé tama-sai liu husi portu.

Konstrusaun sei komesa iha 2016, no Orsamentu Estadu 2016 (p.41) aloka tokon $94 ba portu Tibar entre 2016 to’o 2020. Maibé, montante ne’e la kobre montante ne’ebé Governu konkorda tiha ona atu selu ba Bolloré (tokon $129). Iha loron 17 Juñu 2016 (hafoin artigu ida ne'e publika ona), LUSA fó sai katak Ministériu Finansas sei proposta Orsamentu Retifikativu atu aumenta despeza tinan ida ne'e atu kobra Portu Tibar. Sira rejeita atu inklui iha proposta Orsamentu Estadu 2017 tanba montante ida ne'e bele viola envelope fiskál biliaun $1.2 ne’ebé bo’ot liu husi senáriu balun Konsellu Ministru diskute ona iha sira nia enkontru loron 24 Maiu no 7 Juñu. Iha loron 22 Juñu, Konsellu Ministru aprova ona proposta lei atu halo alterasaun ba Lei Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2016, maski sira seidauk publika montante foun.

Reportajen husi média sira mós aumenta konfuzaun kona-ba projetu nia kustu, tanba artigu balun deskreve kustu totál ne’ebé diferente: artigu ida deklara katak governu sei selu tokon $346, no Bolloré sei selu tokon $79, maibé artigu seluk hatete katak investimentu totál mak tokon $490 durante periodu kontratu konsesaun nian (tinan tolu nulu).

La’o Hamutuk mós preokupa katak sei iha kustu ne’ebé la kalkula lo-loos durante faze planeamentu, tanba projetu infrastrutura barak iha Timor-Leste hasoru problema ida ne’e. Aleinde ne’e, peskiza independente ba Banku Mundiál kona-ba nia projetu PPP sira iha nasaun balun hatudu katak “baibain iha kustu ba governu husi PPP sira ne’ebé la konsege sukat iha nivel projetu.” Ne’e signifika katak maioria projetu PPP sira falla atu sukat kustu tomak molok faze implementasaun, no kustu sempre aumenta. Ida ne’e loke posibilidade katak osan ne’ebé Governu bele uza ba servisu esensiál sira hanesan edukasaun no saúde, tenke uza fali ba projetu portu ne’e.

Problema seluk, karik portu la hetan retornu ne’ebé nato’on (haree ba kraik atu lee tan kona-ba asuntu ida ne’e), iha posibilidade katak Timor-Leste tenke selu fila fali kompañia nia investimentu ne’ebé lakon, no karik mós ita tenke selu parte lukru nian ne’ebé Bolloré la konsege hetan.

Ikus liu, tuir Orsamentu Jerál Estadu 2016 (p.84), parte husi projetu ne’e sei selu ho empréstimu husi Banku Mundiál, Banku Investimentu Europa, ADB no karik mós ajénsia multilateral sira seluk -- maibé empréstimu sira ne’e la inklui iha orsamentu. Karik Governu foti empréstimu atu selu ba projetu, kustu tomak portu nian sei aumenta, tanba Governu tenke selu fali empréstimu ho funan. Iha empréstimu ida ne’ebé asina tiha ona liga ho projetu portu Tibar – iha Juñu 2015, Governu konkorda atu empresta tokon $12 husi ADB (akordu emprestimu) ba konstrusaun estrada bo’ot ho liña haat hosi Tasitolu, Dili to’o Tibar. Estrada ne’e sei fasilita movimentu tráfiku ne’ebé sei aumenta entre Dili no portu foun iha Tibar, maibé La’o Hamutuk preokupa katak estrada foun ne’e aumenta impaktu finanseiru no meiu ambientál husi projetu portu.

Entre fulan Juñu no Agostu 2016, Governu no Parlamentu aprova retifikasaun ba Orsamentu Estadu 2016, no aumenta tokon $391 ba despeza ba infrastrutura fíziku, montante tomak sei mai husi Fundu Petrolifeiru. Tuir Livru 3A husi Orsamentu Retifikativu, projetu Portu Tibar sei hetan tokon $131.28 husi povu nia osan durante tinan 2016 (muda husi tokon $10 iha OJE orijinál), no tokon $140 tan durante 2017-2020.

The new port will take people’s land, destroy their livelihoods and damage the local environment.

The port will take over a large area of land and sea in and around Tibar Bay, seriously impacting the local community’s way of life. The Government has conducted consultations to share information with local communities and the public about the project’s impacts, and, in March 2014, they shared leaflets with the community and the general public, as well as posters. Some of these were also published online by IFC. The project's technical team met with local authorities in Liquica district on 19 May 2014,  and the Government published a leaflet which described the consultation which followed on the project’s social and environmental impacts.

When a Government technical team mapped the community land that will be affected, it gave community members the opportunity to submit claims to the Directorate of Land and Property if the cadastral map created by the Government did not correspond with their own measurements of their land. In total, more than sixty separate land claims were submitted, and the Government released the list in November 2014. In addition, La’o Hamutuk has found that around fifteen households are being relocated as a result of the project.

While the project’s proponents claim that it will create 500 construction jobs, along with an initial 350 operation jobs and 150 more after the first four years, it will also destroy an important fishing area. In April 2016, La’o Hamutuk asked Tibar fishermen what they thought about the impending port, and they responded that are very concerned that it threatens their livelihoods, as the majority of their income is earned by fishing in the Tibar Bay area. They do not accept the Government’s order for them to move to another area to fish, as they have fished in Tibar Bay since the Indonesian time, and, for them, it is a secure place where they can leave their equipment and boats for long periods without them being stolen or damaged. Instead, they asked the Government to leave a small channel open so they could bring their boats in and out in order to continue to fish. However, they have not yet received a response.

The men also said that the Government offered them jobs as security guards at the new port earning around $150 per month. They rejected this offer as it is only a quarter of what they earn from fishing, and is not enough to support their families (see recommendation #9). According to the draft concession agreement and the Terms of Reference for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the EIA should include a “socioeconomic survey of indirectly affected households living in proximity of the bay” (see La'o Hamutuk's recommendation #8 below).

In addition, due to the large area being taken up by the port project, the need to dredge the coral around the outer edges of Tibar Bay in order to clear a channel for ships to enter, and the road expansion between Dili and Tibar, the port will also have a major environmental impact. In early March 2015, The Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication presented a draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for Tibar port to the National Directorate for the Environment (DNMA) (now called the National Directorate for Controlling Pollution and Environmental Impacts, or DNKPIA). DNKPIA then asked the Ministry to make several changes before they could approve the ToR, as it contained insufficient information regarding the environmental impact statement and environmental management plan. As of June 2016, the DNKPIA is reviewing the ToR submitted by the Ministry (see recommendation #10).

Portu foun sei foti komunidade nia rai, estraga sira nia vida moris no estraga meiu ambiente.

Tanba portu ne’e sei foti área bo’ot iha rai no tasi iha Baia Tibar, ida ne’e sei fó impaktu bo’ot ba komunidade lokál nia moris. Governu halo ona konsultasaun balun hodi fahe informasaun ba komunidade lokál no públiku kona-ba projetu portu nia impaktu, no iha Marsu 2014, sira fahe pamfletu ba komunidade no ba públiku no poster tolu. IFC mós públika dokumentu balu kona-ba Portu Tibar iha nia pájina web. Projetu nia ekipa tekniku sira hasoru malu ho autoridade lokal iha Distritu Liquica iha loron 19 fulan Maiu, no Governu públika pamfletu ida ne’ebé deskreve kona-ba konsultasaun kona-ba impaktu sosiál no ambientál projetu nian.

Bainhira Governu nia ekipa tékniku halo mapamentu ba komunidade sira nia rai ne’ebé hetan afeta hosi projetu, sira fó oportunidade ba sira atu bele halo reklamasaun ba Diresaun Terras e Propriedade bainhira mapa kadastral ne’ebé ekipa ne’e kria ladún tuir mapamentu rai ne’ebé sira iha. Hamutuk iha liu neen-nulu reklamasaun ketak ba rai, no Governu fahe lista iha Novembru 2014. La’o Hamutuk hetan informasaun katak maizumenus uma sanulu resin lima hetan dezlokadu tanba projetu.

Maske projetu nia proponente sira dehan katak projetu sei kria kampu servisu konstrusaun ba ema na’in 500, no kampu servisu operasaun ba ema na’in 350 ho sei aumenta ema na’in 150 tan depois tinan haat, maibé projetu sei mós estraga fatin peska ida ne’ebé importante. Iha Abril 2016, La’o Hamutuk husu peskadór lokál sira nia hanoin kona-ba projetu portu Tibar ne’e. Sira preokupa tebes katak projetu ne’e sei ameasa sira nia moris tanba maioria sira nia rendimentu lor-loron mai hosi sira nia atividade peskas iha tasi laran Baia Tibar. Sira la simu Governu nia orden ba sira atu muda ba fatin seluk atu halo peska, tanba sira hela ona iha area ne’ebé dezde tempu Indonézia. Ba sira fatin ida ne’e seguru liu atu halo atividade peskas no sira bele rai sira nia ró no ekipamentu ba tempu naruk maibé la hetan estraga husi ema seluk. Sira sujere fali ba Governu atu loke odamatan ki’ik ida ba sira nia ró atu bele liu ba mai no kontinua halo sira nia atividade peskas. Maibé, to’o agora sira seidauk hetan resposta.

Peskadór sira mós hatete katak Governu oferese sira kampu servisu nudár seguransa iha portu foun ho saláriu maizumenus $150 kada fulan. Sira rejeita oferese ne’e tanba agora sira hetan osan ho montante dala haat ne’e husi sira nia atividade peska, no la bele sustenta sira nia família nia moris ho $150 de’it (hare rekomendasaun #9). Tuir ezbosu kontratu konsesaun ba projetu portu, Avaliasaun Impaktu Meiu Ambientál (EIA) tenke inklui “survey sosiál-ekonómiku kona-ba uma kain ne’ebé hela besik area projetu nian ne’ebé hetan afeitadu la diretamente” (hare rekomendasaun #8 husi La'o Hamutuk iha kraik).

Aleinde ne’e, projetu portu ne’e sei fó impaktu bo’ot ba meiu ambiente tanba projetu portu sei uza fatin tasi no rai maran ho area ne’ebé luan, tanba tenke hasai ahu ruin husi Baia Tibar nia oin, no mós tenke halo bo’ot liu estrada entre Dili to’o Tibar. Iha Marsu 2015, Ministériu Obras Públiku, Transporte no Komunikasaun (MOPTC) aprezenta ezbosu Termus de Referénsia (ToR) ba portu Tibar ba Diretór Nasionál ba Meiu Ambiente (DNMA) (agora naran troka ona ba Diretór Nasionál ba Kontrola Poluisaun no Impaktu Ambientál, DNKPIA). Hafoin ne’e DNKPIA husu Ministériu atu halo mudansa balun molok sira bele aprova ToR ne’e, tanba seidauk iha informasaun ne’ebé sufisiente liga ho estatementu impaktu ambientál no mós planu jestaun ambientál. Too Juñu 2016, DNKPIA halo hela evaluasaun ba ToR ne’ebé Ministériu entrega tiha ona (hare rekomendasaun #10).

PPPs are risky undertakings.

Since Timor-Leste’s financial resources are limited, policymakers are looking for alternative ways to finance some of the projects in the National Strategic Development Plan. For this reason, the Government decided to implement the project using a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, where a private company will invest some of its own money to build the port and then operate it for their own profit.

Proponents of PPPs say that they allow governments to build infrastructure quickly by mobilizing private finance to fund it in the short term, and the government then pays over time. However, PPPs are not free from risk, and various studies have revealed many problems with these projects, such as: excessive costs for infrastructure due to inadequate feasibility studies; poor service due to reduced accountability of private foreign companies; and ‘hidden’ debts for the public as governments pay back company investments over time.

While we hope that the project will avoid the problems listed above (see recommendations #1, #2 and #5), La’o Hamutuk has collected information on key events and important documents to help the public understand the PPP implementation process for Tibar port.

In July 2012, IFC approved a 29-month, $2.9 million project to support Timor-Leste’s structuring and implementation of the PPP for Tibar port. The Timor-Leste Government paid IFC $600,000 for its services, and IFC provided additional assistance from their donor fund. IFC’s advisory services covered all pre-investment activities, and they worked with the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) which published a “case study” on the Tibar port project in their 2012 Annual Report.

RDTL Decree-Law 42/2012 (Portuguese), enacted on 7 September 2012, established a legislative framework for PPPs. On 5 November 2013, the Council of Ministers amended it with DL 2/2014. This was later supplemented by the PPP legal regime in DL 8/2014.

In March 2013, the Ministry of Finance recruited a nonresident advisor for PPPs and a resident infrastructure project officer.

On 2 August 2013, the Council of Ministers heard a presentation from the Ministry of Transport and IFC about the Tibar Port and Public-Private Partnership examples, and the Ministers approved a PPP model for the project.

In May 2014, La’o Hamutuk produced a 30-minute, Tetum radio program (audio, 7 MB) on the Tibar Port PPP, interviewing representatives from IFC and the Vice-Minister for Transport and Communications. We produced another radio program (audio, 7 MB) in April 2016 on PPPs and Tibar port, which included perspectives from the Tibar community.

On 12 May 2015, the Council of Ministers heard another presentation from the project proponents, and the press release stressed the importance of Tibar port in relation to the Strategic Development Plan and for reducing both sea and road congestion at Dili port.

On 24 November 2015, the Council of Ministers approved decree-law 43/2015 (official Portuguese) establishing the legal framework of the public-private partnership for Tibar Port, giving the Government the power to negotiate and sign the contract with the private partner, and to develop the concept, financing, implementation, operation and management of the new port.

The inadvertently-released December 2014 draft of the concession agreement shows that the profits from the operation of the port will be shared between the Government and the operator, where the Government will receive a monthly royalty based on the volume of containers handled in the port. While the final contract has not been made public, we know that many changes have been made since the draft, and in many PPP projects, the public sector has been obliged to provide a ‘profit guarantee’ to the private partner. In other words, if the project fails to generate enough returns, the government pays – this is a major burden on public finances, and we hope the people of Timor-Leste will not bear the financial risk for this project (see recommendation #1).

PPP sira lori risku barak.

Tanba Timor-Leste iha rekursu finansas ne’ebé limitadu, polítika na’in sira buka opsaun seluk atu bele implementa Planu Estratéjiku Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál nia projetu, inklui portu foun iha Tibar, no ida ne’e mak razaun ida tanba sá Governu hili modelu PPP atu implementa projetu ne’e. Tanba ne’e, Governu Timor-Leste deside atu implementa projetu ne’e ho modelu Parseria Públiku-Privadu (PPP), ne’e katak kompañia privadu sei investe ninia osan rasik ba konstrusaun portu i depois opera portu atu hetan lukru ba sira nia an.

Ema ne’ebé promove PPP dehan katak PPP ajuda governu sira atu harii infrastrutura lalais tanba setór privadu mak selu iha kurtu prazu, no depois governu selu fali iha longu prazu. Maibé, PPP sira mós iha risku, no peskiza oi-oin hatudu problema barak ho projetu sira ne’e. Iha problema barak liga ho projetu PPP hanesan: kustu ba infrastrutura ne’ebé aas demais tanba estuda viabilidade la adekuadu; fornesimentu servisu ne’ebé aat liu tanba kontabilidade menus husi kompañia privadu husi rai li’ur; no povu hetan deve ne’ebé ‘subar’ tanba Governu tenke selu fali kompañia nia investimentu ba tempu naruk.

Maske ami espera katak projetu bele evita problema deskreve iha leten (haree ba rekomendasaun #1, #2 no #5), La’o Hamutuk halibur informasaun kona-ba eventu no dokumentu importante balun atu ajuda públiku komprende kona-ba prosesu implementasaun PPP nian ba portu Tibar.

Iha Jullu 2012, IFC aprova projetu tokon $2.9, ba fulan-29 atu suporta Timor-Leste nia kompilasaun no implementasaun Portu Tibar ho modelu PPP. Governu Timor-Leste selu $600,000 ba IFC nia servisu, no IFC mós fó asisténsia tan liu husi sira nia fundu doadór. IFC nia servisu asesoria inklui ba atividade pre-investimentu hotu. Sira servisu hamutuk ho Grupu Dezenvolvimentu Infrastrutura Privadu (PIDG) ne’ebé públika ona “estudu kazu” kona ba projetu Portu Tibar iha sira nia Relatóriu Anuál 2012.

Dekretu-Lei no 42/2012 (Portugés), vigora ona iha loron 7 Setembru 2012, estabelese ona enkuadramentu legal ba PPP nian. Iha loron 5 Novembru 2013, Konsellu Ministru halo ona revizaun ba lei refere ho Dekretu-Lei 2/2014. Orsida, sira kria regras ba regime juridiku ba PPP ho  Dekretu-Lei 8/2014.

Durante projetu sira ne’e la’o hela, Ministériu Finansa rekruta assessor ne’ebé hela iha rai li’ur ba PPP no ofisiál hosi Timor-Leste ba projetu infrastrutura.

Iha loron 2 Agostu tinan 2013, Konsellu Ministru simu aprezentasaun husi Ministériu Transporte Komunikasaun no IFC kona ba ezemplu modelu Parseria Públiku-Privadu no Portu Tibar, no Ministru sira aprova modelu PPP ba projetu ne’e.

Iha Maiu 2014, La’o Hamutuk prodús programa radio ho durasaun minutu tolu nulu (audio, MB 7) ba Portu Tibar, halo entrevista ho reprezentante husi IFC no Vice Ministru Transporte no Komunikasaun. Ami mós prodús programa radio ida tan iha Abril 2016 (audio, MB 7) kona-ba PPP no portu Tibar ne’ebé inklui perspetiva husi komunidade lokál iha Tibar.

Iha 12 Maiu 2015, Konsellu Ministru rona aprezentasaun ida tan husi projetu nia proponente sira, no komunikadu imprensa hatete katak portu Tibar importante tebes liga ho ba Planu Estratéjiku Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál no mós importante ba hamenus engarrafamentu iha tasi no estrada iha portu Dili.

Iha 24 Novembru 2015, Konsellu Ministru fó sai katak sira aprova ona Dekretu Lei 43/2015 hodi estabelese enkuadramentu legál ba Parseria Públiku-Privadu (PPP) ba portu Tibar, ne’ebé fó autoridade ba Governu atu negosia no asina kontratu ho parseria privadu, no mós atu dezenvolve konseitu, finansiamentu, implementasaun, operasaun no jestaun portu foun ne’e.

Ezbosu konfidensial konkordánsia konsesaun husi Dezembru 2014 hatudu katak lukru husi operasaun portu ne’e sei fahe entre Governu ho operadór, no Governu sei hetan ‘royalty’ kada fulan bazeia ba volume sasán ne’ebé tama sai liu husi portu. Maske Governu seidauk loke kontratu finál ba públiku, maibé ami rona katak iha mudansa barak kompara ho versaun ezbosu tuan, no iha projetu PPP barak, setór públiku obriga atu fó ‘garante lukru’ ba parseria privadu. Ne’e signifika katak se karik projetu la hetan retornu ne’ebé sufisiente, governu tenke selu. Ida ne’e fó todan bo’ot ba finansas públiku, no ami espera katak povu Timor-Leste la hetan risku finanseiru ba projetu ida ne’e (haree ba rekomendasaun #1).

Tibar port’s economic viability is doubtful.

When the Tibar project was originally conceived, the Government, IMF, ADB and others were predicting that Timor-Leste’s non-oil GDP would continue to grow at ‘double-digit rates,’ and IFC and their consultants Hamburg Port Consulting used these optimistic assumptions when making their original traffic projections for Tibar port in 2012. They predicted that import tonnage would grow steadily every year, reaching 190,000 tons annually by 2040, or approximately $3.1 billion worth of merchandise every year. At the same time, they envisioned less than 10,000 tons of exports, so that our trade deficit would continue to grow.

Unfortunately, non-oil GDP growth has not matched these high expectations: the Ministry of Finance calculated it to be only 2.8% in 2013, and the National Accounts 2000-2014, published in June 2016, shows only a slight improvement to 5.9% growth in 2014. The report also shows that the rise in ‘non-oil’ GDP growth was largely driven by increased state spending (of oil money). Timor-Leste’s oil reserves are running out fast, and growth is likely to slow down as the government has to reduce expenditures.

In addition, Timor-Leste’s current trade deficit is unsustainable without alternative sources of revenues to replace oil – our goods imports are more than thirty times our non-oil exports (nearly all coffee), and the gap is widening.

Another issue is that total GDP may be a more appropriate indicator for future import projections than non-oil GDP, because government spending pays for a significant amount of imports – however, the latest National Accounts calculates that total GDP dropped 12.8% in 2013 and shrank even more, by 27.8%, in 2014. A recently-published IMF Article IV press release predicts continued decline through 2021 or later.

Finally, while Tibar port may help importation of goods to become more efficient, which could provide cheaper goods for importers and consumers, public money spent on Tibar port is an effective subsidy for imports – a “negative tariff” which will reduce the cost of imports relative to local products. This will hamper Timor-Leste’s ability to develop our domestic economy, especially agriculture, as cheaper imports will reduce demand for local produce (see recommendation #4). Farmers may invest less time and money in growing crops, and with less local produce available, people will then increasingly be forced to buy imported food. However, by that time the government will have been forced to reduce its expenditure, and with less money circulating in the economy, people will struggle to pay for their food.

A key government report also casts doubt on Tibar port’s economic viability -- the draft Transport Sector Master Plan, presented in June 2015 by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication, and supported by ADB, recommended against major investment in ports. The report gave Tibar port a cost-benefit rating of 3 out of 10, and an overall priority score of 3.8 out of 10. The main reason for the low rating is that the planned cement bagging plant and cement exporting factory could reduce by half the volume of cargo passing through the port, because these facilities will include their own import/export points, meaning that cement imports will fall.

In addition to the cement plant’s small port, planned new ports in Oecusse and Suai will affect the amount of traffic coming through Tibar port. These ports were not anticipated at the time the Tibar project was conceived, but their impact is likely to be significant (see recommendation #3).

The new economic data therefore have serious implications for Tibar port’s long term rationale and sustainability (see recommendation #2). Timor-Leste has had negligible improvement in the non-oil, non-state economy and, with dwindling oil reserves, La’o Hamutuk wonders how we can continue to import enough goods for Tibar port to earn sufficient returns to make back the Government’s and private partner’s capital investments, let alone their profits.

The December 2014 draft concession agreement has the same design specifications as the invitation to prequalify in October 2013, which also referred to the prediction of ‘double-digit growth.’ IFC told La’o Hamutuk that they have revised their economic analysis of the port, and we repeatedly asked them and the Ministry of Finance to share it with us, but they have declined.

Labele fiar Portu Tibar nia viabilidade ekonómiku.

Bainhira Governu ho IFC kria ideia ba projetu portu Tibar, Governu, IMF, Banku Dezenvolvimentu Aziatiku no sira seluk halo projeksaun katak Timor-Leste nia GDP (PIB) naun-petróleu sei kontinua aumenta ho númeru ‘double-digit’. IFC ho Hamburg Port Consulting uza asumsaun optimistiku ne’e, bainhira sira halo projeksaun tráfiku orijinál ba portu Tibar iha 2012. Sira espekta katak tonelada hosi importasaun nian sei aumenta to’o tonelada 190,000 kada tinan iha 2040, merkadorias ho valór maizumenus biliaun $3.1 kada tinan. Sira antisipa menus husi tonelada 10,000 ba esportasaun, nune’e ita nia defisit komérsiu sei kontinua aumenta.

Infelizmente, kreximentu GDP naun-petróleu la to’o projeksaun optimistiku sira ne’e: Ministériu Finansas kalkula katak kreximentu durante 2013 mak 2.8% de’it, no Konta Nasional 2000-2014 ne’ebé foin públika iha Juñu 2016 hatudu katak kreximentu aumenta uitoan iha 2014 ba 5.9%. Maibé, relatóriu ne’e mós hatudu katak parte bo’ot husi aumenta GDP ‘naun-petróleu’ ne’e estimula tanba despeza estadu nian mós aumenta, no maioria estadu nia osan mai husi mina. Timor-Leste nia reserva mina-rai atu maran iha tempu badak, no kreximentu sei la’o neineik liu bainhira Governu tenke hatún despeza.

Aleinde ne’e, Timor-Leste nia defisit komérsiu la sustentável, tanba la iha reseitas alternativa atu troka petróleu – agora daudaun, ita importa sasán ho valór dala tolu nulu kompara ho esportasaun (kuaze kafé de’it), no defisit kontinua aumenta.

Problema seluk mak GDP totál hanesan indikadór ne’ebé apropriadu liu duké GDP naun-petróleu ba projeksaun importasaun iha futuru, tanba importasaun barak mak selu husi governu nia despeza – maibé, Konta Nasionál 2000-2014 hatudu katak kreximentu GDP totál durante 2013 mak negativu 12.8%, no negativu 27.8% durante 2014. FMI nia komunikadu imprensa kona-ba Article IV ba 2016 halo projeksaun dehan katak kreximentu GDP totál sei kontinua negativu to’o 2021 ka tarde liu.

Aleinde ne’e, karik portu Tibar sei ajuda Timor-Leste atu importa sasán ho efisiente liu, no ida ne’e bele fornese reseita taxa balun ba estadu no sasán baratu liu ba konsumidór no importadór sira. Maibé, bainhira ita gasta osan públiku ba portu Tibar, ne’e hanesan subsídiu ba importasaun – “tarifa negativu” – ne’ebé sei hamenus importasaun nia folin kompara ho produtu lokál (hare rekomendasaun #4). Ida ne’e sei hafraku Timor-Leste nia abilidade atu dezenvolve ita nia ekonomia doméstika, liu liu setór agrikultura, tanba bainhira importasaun sai baratu liu, ema barak sei lakohi sosa ona produtu lokál tanba karun liu. Hafoin ne’e, agrikultór sira sei investe tempu no osan menus liu atu kuda ai-han, no tanba ne’e la iha ona produtu lokál barak no povu tenke depende ba ai-han importa husi li’ur. Maibé, iha tempu badak Governu tenke ko’a despeza, no kuandu iha osan menus sirkula iha ekonomia, susar liu ba povu atu selu ba ai-han.

Relatóriu importante ida husi Governu mós kestiona portu Tibar nia viabilidade ekonómika – Planu Mestre Setór Transportasaun, ne’ebé aprezenta iha Juñu 2015 husi Ministériu Obras Públiku, Transporte no Komunikasaun, ho apoiu husi ADB, rekomenda katak lalika investe maka’as iha portu sira. Portu Tibar rasik hetan valór kustu-benefísiu 3 husi 10, no valór prioridade 3.8 husi 10. Relatóriu fó valór ki’ik ba portu Tibar ba razaun prinsipál mak planta ba prosesamentu falun sementi no fábrika atu halo no esporta sementi bele hamenus 50% tráfiku ne’ebé tama-sai liu husi portu, tanba fasilidade sementi sira ne’e sei inklui portu ki’ik ida ba importasaun-esportasaun, nune’e mak tráfiku sementi sei menus iha futuru.

Aleinde planta sementi iha nia portu ki'ik rasik, Governu mós iha planu atu harii portu foun iha Oecusse no Suai, no sira sei fó impaktu ba montante tráfiku ne’ebé tama-sai liu husi portu Tibar. Maske Governu seidauk deside atu harii portu rua ne’e bainhira sira kria ideia ba projetu Tibar, maibé impaktu husi portu rua seluk ne’e sei bo’ot (haree ba rekomendasaun #3).

Dadus ekonómiku foun hirak ne’e iha implikasaun bo’ot ba portu Tibar nia rasionalidade no sustentabilidade ba tempu naruk (haree ba rekomendasaun #2). Ekonomia naun-petróleu, naun-estadu seidauk di’ak, no reserva mina tun, no tanba ne’e La’o Hamutuk preokupa oinsá mak Timor-Leste sei kontinua atu importa sasán nato’on atu portu Tibar bele hetan retornu ne’ebé sufisiente atu hetan fila fali Governu no parseria privadu nia investimentu kapitál, no mos lukru.

Ezbosu kontratu konsesaun husi Dezembru 2014 uza dezeñu hanesan ho konvite atu pre-kualifika ba konkursu iha Outubru 2013, ne’ebé mós refere ba espektasaun ‘kreximentu double-digit.’ IFC hatete ba La’o Hamutuk katak sira halo revizaun ba analiza ekonómiku orijinál, no ami husu dala barak ona ba IFC no Ministériu Finansas se karik sira bele fahe analiza foun, maibé sira la simu.

Only one company’s bid was considered to build and operate Tibar port.

Another common problem with PPP projects such as this is that the length of time and cost required to prepare bids often reduces competition. In the case of Tibar port, the bidding process was delayed several times, and ultimately took more than two years before the contract was awarded. Eight companies applied for prequalification for this project, four were pre-qualified and two submitted bids. But in the end, only one company’s contract proposal was considered. Although the bidding process was reasonably transparent, the fact that only one bid was considered in the end is worrisome, as our Government was unable to choose a company offering a lower price or higher technical quality, and it increases the possibility of corruption.

Although La’o Hamutuk does not know if corruption affected this particular tender, we have collected information on key events and several important documents related to the bidding process.

In August 2013, the Government invited investors/operators interested in designing, building, co-financing and operating the Tibar Port project to Express their Interest. On 21 October 2013, RDTL issued a formal “invitation to prequalify and prequalification document” for the 30-year Tibar Port PPP contract. The 38 pages of documents included an estimated total capital investment of $300-$400 million and a timetable leading to award of the final contract in May 2014. A revised schedule extended the time for applications to 5 December. On 8 November, the National Procurement Commission reissued criteria for this Prequalification and answered some Frequently Asked Questions about it, and another addendum on 27 November specified that companies blacklisted by the World Bank could not participate in the tender.

In February 2014, the National Procurement Commission announced that four companies had pre-qualified, as explained in this IFC press release:

  1. MOTA - ENGIL, Ambiente e Servicos, SA/ MOTA- ENGIL, Engenharia e Construcas, SA (MEAS) / NV BESIK Group, SA  (Mota-Engil is from Portugal. Company website. If their partner is Besix Group SA/NV, it is from Belgium. Company website)
  2. Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (POSNCO or P&O, Dubai. Company website)
  3. International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI, Philippines. Company website)
  4. Bolloré Consortium (France, parent of SDV. Company website)

Four other companies were rejected because they did not meet the financial or technical criteria: PT Multicon Indra Jaya Terminal, Smith Bridge Group Pty Ltd, China Overseas Engineering Group Co Ltd and China Shandong International Economic & Technical Cooperation Group Ltd (CSI).

The National Procurement Commission (NPC) circulated a Request for Proposals to prequalified bidders on 14 May 2014, but it was not mentioned in local newspapers, Government websites or the Procurement Portal. However, on 29 May IFC announced the RfP on its blog, explaining that there will be a bidders’ meeting in mid-June and bids are due by 22 October. NPC published the 106-page Instructions to Bidders on 3 June, with several subsequent clarifications.

On 17-19 June, the Government met with the four prequalified companies, and brought them to visit the Tibar Port project site and Dili Port.

Aplikasaun husi kompañia ida de’it mak hetan konsiderasaun ba konstrusaun no operasaun portu Tibar.

Ema barak halo kritika dehan katak projetu PPP sira tenke gasta tempu naruk no osan barak hodi prepara proposta, no tanba ne’e kompetisaun menus. Iha kazu portu Tibar, prosesu tenderizasaun la’o tarde tanba problema oi-oin, no prosesu tomak liu tinan rua nia laran molok Governu fó kontratu ba kompañia. Kompañia ualu (8) aplika ba pre-kualifikasaun ba projetu ida ne’e, kompañia haat hetan pre-kualifikadu, kompañia rua fó proposta. Maibé ikus liu proposta husi kompañia ida de’it mak hetan konsiderasaun. Maske prosesu tenderizasaun la’o ho transparénsia ne’ebé adekuadu, La’o Hamutuk preokupa tanba Governu la bele hili entre kompañia oi-oin atu buka folin baratu ka kualidade aas liu, no mós potensiál ba korrupsaun aumenta tanba kompañia ida de’it mak hetan konsiderasaun.

La’o Hamutuk la hatene se iha korrupsaun liga ho kontratu ida ne’e ka lae, maibé ami halibur informasaun kona-ba eventu importante no liga ba dokumentu balun liga ho prosesu tenderizasaun.

Iha Agostu 2013, Governu konvida investor no operadór sira ne’ebé interese ba dezeña, konstrusaun, finansia hamutuk no halo operasaun ba projetu Portu Tibar atu hato’o sira nia interese. Iha loron 21 Outubru 2013, Governu RDTL formalmente hasai “konvite atu pre-kualifika no dokumentu pre-kualifikasaun” ba kontratu tinan 30 nian ba Portu Tibar ho modelu PPP. Dokumentu pájina tolu nulu resin ualu ne’e inklui estimatizasaun ba total kapitál investimentu tokon $300-400 ho oráriu to’o atribuisaun kontratu final iha Maiu 2014. Revizaun oráriu públika adia data atu halo aplikasaun to’o loron 5 Dezembru. Iha loron 8 Novembru, Komisaun Nasionál Aprovizionamentu hasai fali rekerimentu ba pre-kualifikasaun no responde ba pergunta ne’ebé dala ruma mosu, no adendum seluk iha loron 27 Novembru klarifika katak kompañia sira ne’ebé hetan lista mean (blacklist) husi Banku Mundial labele partisipa iha konkursu públiku ne’e.

Iha Fevreiru 2014, Komisaun Nasionál Aprovizionamentu (KNA) hasai ba públiku katak iha kompañia haat mak hetan pre-kualifikasaun hanesan esplika iha IFC nia komunikadu imprensa:

  1. MOTA - ENGIL, Ambiente e Servicos, SA/ MOTA- ENGIL, Engenharia e Construcas, SA (MEAS) / NV BESIK Group, SA (Mota-Engil husi Portugal. Kompañia nia website. Se karik sira nia parseiru mak Besix Group SA/NV, entaun husi Belgia. Kompañia nia website)
  2. Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (POSNCO ka P&O, Dubai. Kompañia nia website)
  3. International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI, Filipina. Kompañia nia website)
  4. Bolloré Consortium (Fransa, na’in ba SDV. Kompañia nia website)

Kompañia haat seluk la tama tanba sira nia kompañia la prienxe rekerimentu tékniku no finanseiru: PT Multicon Indra Jaya Terminal, Smith Bridge Group Pty Ltd, China Overseas Engineering Group Co Ltd no China Shandong International Economic & Technical Cooperation Group Ltd (CSI).

Iha loron 14 Maiu 2014, KNA fahe ona Rekerimentu ba Proposta ba sira ne’ebé pre-kualifikadu, maibé dokumentu ne’e la públika iha jornál lokál sira, Governu nia pájina web ka Portal Aprovizionamentu. Maske nune’e iha loron 29 fulan Maiu IFC anunsia ona Rekerimentu ba Proposta iha sira nia blog, esplika katak sei iha soru-mutu ho ema ne’ebé tuir konkursu públiku iha meiu de Juñu no ikus liu tenke hatama aplikasaun iha loron 22 Outubru. KNA públika ona Instrusaun ba ema ne’ebé tuir konkursu públiku ho pájina 106 iha loron 3 fulan Juñu. Hafoin ida ne’e, sira públika klarifikasaun ruma.

Iha loron 17-19 Juñu Governu halo soru-mutu ho kompañia pre-kualifikadu haat sira, no lori sira ba vizita fatin implementasaun projetu Portu Tibar no Portu Dili.

In November 2015, media reported that Bolloré had won the contract for Tibar port, and on 15 January 2016, the Ministry of Finance published its ‘intent to award’ a $129,450,000 contract to Bolloré Consortium. Bolloré then announced in their March 2016 newsletter that they had won the concession.

Some media reported that Bolloré won because its bid was ranked higher than its competitor, and one article quotes Cyrille Bolloré as saying that their “knowledge of the logistics market in East Timor … enabled [them] to submit the best bid.” However, this is misleading, as only two of the four prequalified companies submitted bids, and one of them – P&O – was disqualified, leaving only Bolloré to be considered for the contract.

According to the Government’s Notification of Award, P&O’s proposal was rejected because the “Legal documents [were] determined [to be] substantially non responsive to the Instructions to Bidders (‘ITB’) requirements.” This was because P&O included financial data in the technical section of its bid, thus violating the bidding instructions (p.18) which required financial, legal and technical information to be submitted in separate envelopes.

Another concern  is that SDV – a Bolloré subsidiary and part of the ‘consortium’ which has been awarded the contract – is one of the biggest logistics and transportation companies currently operating in Timor-Leste, which creates a potential conflict of interest as they will be one of the main customers of the new port (see recommendation #6).

The contract for the Tibar Port PPP was signed on 3 June 2016 in Dili. The Ministry of Finance issued a press release describing the project as a “state-of-the-art port facility that will act as a catalyst for Timor-Leste’s exports,” and quoting Minister for Public Works, Transport and Communications, Gastão de Sousa, who said that “Tibar Bay Port will contribute to Timor-Leste’s rapid economic growth, playing a key role in facilitating international trade.” However, as discussed above, economic growth has been falling, and we doubt that the port will help to boost domestic production, either for export or domestic consumption.

Several international media published articles on the contract award, including LUSA, IHS and the American Journal of Transportation.

Iha Novembru 2015, média sira halo reportajen dehan katak Bolloré manán ona kontratu ba portu Tibar, no iha 15 Janeiru 2016, Ministru Finansas públika ‘intent to award’ kontratu ho valór $129,450,000 ba Bolloré Consortium. Hafoin ne’e, Bolloré fó sai iha sira nia publikasaun katak sira manán ona konsesaun.

Reportajen balun hatete katak Bolloré manán tanba sira nia proposta hetan valór aas liu kompara ho kompañia seluk, ezemplu artigu ida uza kotasaun husi Cyrille Bolloré ne’ebé dehan “ami nia koñesimentu kona-ba merkadu lojistiku iha Timor-Leste tulun ami atu hatama proposta ne’ebé mak di’ak liu.” Maibé ne’e la loos, tanba kompañia rua de’it mak hatama proposta, no ida – P&O – hetan dezkualifikadu, ne’e signifika katak ikus liu só Bolloré de’it mak bele manán kontratu.

Tuir Governu nia Notifikasaun ba Award, P&O nia proposta rejeita tanba “Dokumentu legál sira la tuir rekerimentu iha Instrusaun ba Lisitante (Bidders) sira.” Ne’e akontese tanba P&O inklui informasaun finansa iha seksaun tékniku iha sira nia konkursu, no ida ne’e viola regra instrusaun ba aplikante sira (paj.18) ne’ebé hatete katak kompañia tenke entrega informasaun finansa, legal no tékniku ketak-ketak, la bele inklui hamutuk.

Preokupasaun seluk mak SDV – subsidiáriu Bolloré nian no parte ‘konsortium’ ne’ebé manán ona kontratu – hanesan kompañia lojistiku no transportasaun bo’ot liu ne’ebé opera agora daudaun iha Timor-Leste. Ida ne’e bele hanesan ‘konflítu interese’ tanba SDV nudár kliente prinsipál ida ba portu foun bele hetan prioridade liu duké kompañia sira seluk (haree ba rekomendasaun #6).

Kontratu ba PPP Portu Tibar asina iha Dili iha loron 3 Juñu 2016. Ministeriu Finansas públika komunikadu imprensa ne’ebé deskreve projetu hanesan “fasilidade portu kategoria mundiál nebe sei uza hanesan katalizador ba eksportasaun Timor-Leste nian,” no kotasaun husi Ministru Obras Públikas, Transporte no Komunikasaun, Gastão de Sousa, ne’ebé hatete katak “Portu Baia Tibar sei kontribui ba krescimentu ekonomia rápidu iha Timor-Leste, desempenha papel chave ba komérsiu eksternu.” Maibé, hanesan diskute iha leten, kreximentu ekonomia la to’o espetasaun, no aléinde ne’e mós, ami iha duvida katak portu sei ajuda aumenta produsaun lokál ba konsumpsaun lokál ka esportasaun.

Media internasional balun publika artigu kona ba ajudikasaun kontratu ida ne'e, inklui LUSA, IHS no American Journal of Transportation.

Profile on Bolloré Consortium
  • Bolloré Consortium is made up of Bolloré Africa Logistics (BAL) & SDV Logistics East Timor (BAL and SDV are both subsidiaries of Bolloré Group).

  • Bolloré Group (BG) is a 200-year-old French conglomerate headquartered in Paris, with interests in oil and gas, media, transport, rubber and oil palm plantations, logistics and public relations.

  • Bolloré Group received $12 billion in total revenues in 2015, while BAL received $3.25 billion in 2012.

  • BG employs 58,300 people worldwide – the same as the total number employed by all businesses in Timor-Leste. About 24,000 of them work for BAL.

  • BAL is active in 56 countries, including 46 in Africa, and operates 15 container terminals and 11 dry ports, all through public-private partnerships.

  • SDV is an international logistics company, a fully-owned subsidiary of Bolloré Group. It has operated in Timor-Leste since 1999 and is the largest shipping agent in the country.

  • SDV is involved in transportation, logistics and supply chain activities in the petroleum, aerospace, telecommunication, hi-tech and cosmetics industries.

  • In April 2016, media reported that French authorities searched Bolloré HQ in Paris as part of an ongoing investigation into possible corruption linked to contracts awarded to its subsidiary BAL for operating various African container ports.

Informasaun kona-ba Bolloré Consortium
  • Bolloré Consortium kompostu husi Bolloré Africa Logistics (BAL) hamutuk ho SDV Logistics East Timor (BAL ho SDV mak subsidáriu Bolloré Group nian).

  • Bolloré Group (BG) mak kompañia ida ho idade tinan 200, baze iha Paris, Fransa, ne’ebé envolve hela iha indústria mina no gás, média, transportasaun, plantasaun palma mina (minyak kelapa sawit) no ai boraixa, lojistiku no relasaun públiku.

  • Durante 2015, BG simu reseitas ho valór $12 billoens, no BAL simu $3.25 billoens durante 2012.

  • BG nia staf hamutuk ema na’in 58,300 iha mundu tomak – númeru ne’e hanesan totál staf iha kompañia hot-hotu iha Timor-Leste. BAL rasik nia staf mak maizumenus na’in 24,000.

  • BAL ativu iha nasaun 56, inklui nasaun 46 iha Africa, no BAL mós opera portu marina 15 no portu rai maran 11, hotu liu husi parseria públiku-privadu.

  • SDV nudár kompañia lojistiku internasionál ida, no subsidiáriu ne’ebé na’in tomak husi Bolloré Group. SDV halo operasaun iha Timor-Leste dezde 1999, no sira mak kompañia ne’ebé bo’ot liu iha setór transportasaun iha Timor-Leste.

  • SDV envolve hela iha transportasaun, lojistiku no atividade ‘supply chain’ iha indústria petróleu, aerospace, telekomunikasaun, teknolojia no kozmétiku.

  • Iha Abríl 2016, média sira halo reportajen katak autoridade Fransa nian hadau dokumentus balun husi Bolloré Group nia kuartél jerál iha Paris, tanba sira halo hela investigasaun kona-ba korrupsaun potensiál liga ho kontratu balun ne’ebé BAL hetan ona ba operasaun portu kontentór Afrikanu oi-oin.

Private or political interests should not direct economic development.

The National Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030 (SDP) outlined plans to develop Timor-Leste’s maritime transportation infrastructure to facilitate increased traffic in goods and passengers. However, the main justification for building the new port in Tibar is that the Government says that Dili port does not have sufficient capacity to deal with current or future levels of container traffic.

Ultimately, the Government hopes to establish Timor-Leste as a regional transit-point for international shipping, dreaming that one day Tibar port can be used for storage and commercial fishing vessels. To achieve this, in addition to building the new port, the Government plans to create a 100-hectares ‘Tibar Bay Investment Zone’ 10km west of the port, which will include an agricultural market and other commercial facilities.

However, political and profit interests mean that simpler, cheaper options for public infrastructure are often dismissed. For example, operating Dili port 24-hours, seven days a week (as most major ports around the world do) and investing in training and recruitment would help to clear the backlog of cargo and increase the port’s capacity. This would not involve hundreds of millions of dollars, foreign investment, complex PPP arrangements and grand opening ceremonies (see recommendation #7), but it would improve management, reduce the risk of corruption and make customs processing more efficient, in addition to saving money and not taking over community land or destroying their livelihoods.

The impact of the Tibar project can be seen in independent research on Timor-Leste’s ports -- a report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on the port sector in Timor-Leste made various recommendations on rehabilitating and increasing the capacity of Dili and other ports. However, since Tibar port will replace the existing one in Dili, JICA did not analyse the potential for increasing Dili port’s capacity over the long-term, instead recommending that only the ferry terminal should receive major investment, as the rest of the port area will be used for tourism and commerce purposes after shipping activities end.

Interese privadu ka polítika la bele kontrola dezenvolvimentu ekonómiku.

Planu Estratéjiku Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál 2011-2030 (PEDN) diskute planu atu dezenvolve Timor-Leste nia infrastrutura iha setór transportasaun maritima atu fasilita aumenta tráfiku sasán no pasajeiru. Maibé, Governu fó justifikasaun prinsipál ba konstrusaun portu foun ne’e, dehan katak portu Dili nia kapasidade la to’o ba movimentu tráfiku ne’ebé iha agora, no mós iha futuru.

Governu mós iha mehi atu estabelese Timor-Leste nudár fatin rejional tránzitu ba komérsiu marina internasionál, no mós portu ne’e sei bele uza hanesan armazén, ró pasajeiru no ró peska komersiál sira iha futuru. Atu atinje ida ne’e, aléinde harii portu foun, Governu mós iha planu atu kria ‘Zona Investimentu Baia Tibar’, ho luan 100 hectare, 10km ba diresaun oeste hosi portu. Tuir IFC nia informasaun, zona ida ne’e sei inklui merkadu atu fa’an produtu agríkola ho fasilidade komérsiu seluk tan.

Interese polítika no lukru dala barak signifika katak opsaun seluk ne’ebé simplés no baratu liu ba infrastrutura públiku la hetan atensaun iguál. Ezemplu, karik opera portu Dili 24-oras, loron 7 kada semana (hanesan maioria portu prinsipál iha mundu) no mós investe iha treinamentu no rekrutamentu sei ajuda atu hamenus problema movimentu sasán, no mós sei aumenta portu nia kapasidade. Ida ne’e la envolve dolar tokon ba tokon, investimentu husi li’ur, kontratu PPP ne’ebé kompleksu, no serimónia bo’ot atu loke projetu, maibé opsaun ne’e sei poupa osan, no la presiza foti komunidade nia rai ka estraga sira nia vida moris (hare rekomendasaun #7).

Projetu Tibar mós fó impaktu tiha ona ba peskiza independente kona-ba Timor-Leste nia portu sira -- Ajénsia Internasionál Kooperasaun Japaun (JICA) públika relatóriu ida kona-ba setór portu iha Timor-Leste, no sira halo rekomendasaun oi-oin kona-ba oinsá atu hadi’ak ka aumenta kapasidade iha portu Dili no portu sira seluk. Maibé, tanba portu Tibar foun sei troka portu Dili, JICA la analiza potensiál ba aumenta portu Dili nia kapasidade ba tempu naruk. Sira rekomenda fali atu investe iha terminál pasajeiru de’it, tanba restu portu nia fatin sei uza ba atividade turizmu no komérsiu hafoin atividade komérsiu marina (shipping) remata ona.

Recommendations prior to contracting

In order to help Tibar port to be a benefit to Timor-Leste rather than a costly mistake, La'o Hamutuk offers the following recommendations to our leaders and those implementing the project:

  1. Ensure that financial risks are shared fairly between the public and private partners – no ‘profit guarantee’ – so that the people of Timor-Leste won’t have to pay in the future if the project turns out not to be as profitable as expected.

  2. Carefully evaluate the viability of the port based on the latest economic data; previous estimates of Timor-Leste’s economic growth were overly optimistic, and oil is running out faster than expected, which will impact the level of traffic coming through the port and reduce its returns.

  3. In light of the three other ports being built, realistically analyze Timor-Leste’s mid- and long-term shipping requirements and whether they can be met by upgrading Dili port.

  4. Lay the foundations for a strong domestic economy by implementing policies which protect and promote local agriculture, small industry and tourism, thereby reducing the need for imports and improving employment and living standards.

  5. Ensure that the project is well-regulated, managed fairly, and that the contractor is held accountable.

  6. Ensure that goods from all shippers will be handled with equal efficiency and priority. Recent revelations of corruption and mismanagement at Dili Port highlight the need for extra attention in this area.

  7. Do not allow private sector or personal interests to dictate public policy: politicians benefit from overseeing large-scale projects, and private companies benefit from lucrative contracts, while local communities lose their land and livelihoods and the people as a whole bear the financial burden.

  8. Include the impacts on the lives and livelihoods of local people in Tibar in the Environmental Impact Assessment, as per its requirements.

  9. Invest in housing, sanitation and other services for those community members who are displaced, and offer those who lose their livelihoods training and jobs at the port equal to their previous work, with additional support if they choose not to accept these.

  10. Even though the concession contract has already been signed, construction must not begin until the national body in charge of protecting our environment, DNKPIA, carefully evaluates the environmental impacts of this project before deciding whether or not to grant an environmental license.

We hope that the project proponents will implement our recommendations, while ensuring that Timor-Leste’s people will gain maximum benefit from the port, and moving towards a sustainable future for us all.

Rekomendasaun molok asina kontratu

Atu suporta portu Tibar atu fó benefísiu ba Timor-Leste no atu prevene portu Tibar la bele sai sala ne’ebé sei halo ita lakon osan barak, La'o Hamutuk oferese rekomendasaun tuir mai ba ita nia lider sira no sira ne’ebé sei implementa projetu:

  1. Fahe risku finanseiru ho justu entre parseria públiku no privadu – governu la bele fó ‘garantia lukru’ ba kompañia – atu nune’e garante katak povu Timor-Leste sei la iha obrigasaun iha futuru atu selu karik projetu la hetan retornu hanesan espetasaun.

  2. Avalia ho didi’ak portu nia viabilidade bazeia ba dadus ekonómiku atuál; projeksaun ba kreximentu ekonomia ne’ebé halo uluk mak optimistiku liu, no mina rai sai maran lalais liu duké espetasaun, no buat hirak ne’e sei fó impaktu ba volume tráfiku ne’ebé tama liu husi portu no mós hamenus portu nia retornu.

  3. Liga ho portu tolu ne’ebé Governu hahu'u agora, tenke avalia ho realistiku Timor-Leste nia nesesidade tráfiku maritima ba médiu no longu prazu, no depois avalia se karik Governu aumenta portu Dili nia kapasidade, portu Dili bele fasilita movimentu.

  4. Proteje no promove agrikultura, indústria ki’ik no turizmu atu nune’e kria fundasaun ba ekonomia doméstika ne’ebé forte, nune’e bele hamenus dependénsia ba importasaun no kria kampu servisu no hasa’e kualidade moris.

  5. Governu tenke regula projetu ho didi’ak no garante operadór nia kontabilidade.

  6. Garante katak sasán husi kliente hot-hotu sei trata ho efisiénsia no prioridade iguál. Ita hatene ona istória ne’ebé foin mosu kona-ba korrupsaun no mal-jestaun iha portu Dili, nune’e ita tenke fó atensaun adisionál ba kestaun ne’e.

  7. Interese pesoál ka setór privadu nian la bele influénsia polítika públiku: polítika na’in sira hetan benefísiu bainhira sira implementa projetu bo’ot, no kompañia privadu sira hetan benefísiu husi kontratu lukrativu sira, maibé komunidade lokál sira lakon sira nia rai no servisu, no povu tomak hetan todan finanseiru.

  8. Tuir Avaliasaun Impaktu Meiu-Ambientál nia rekerimentu, tenke inklui impaktu ba komunidade lokál iha avaliasaun.

  9. Investe iha uma, saneamentu no servisu seluk ba membru komunidade ne’ebé hetan dezlokadu, no oferese ema ne’ebé lakon sira nia servisu formasaun no servisu foun iha portu ne’ebé iguál ba sira nia servisu uluk. Karik sira la simu pozisaun iha portu, tenke oferese sira asisténsia seluk.

  10. Maske kontratu konsesaun asina tiha ona, konstrusaun la bele komesa molok orgaun governu ba protesaun meiu ambientál, DNKPIA, avalia ho didi’ak impaktu ambientál husi projetu ida ne’e, no depois halo desizaun atu fó lisensa ambientál ka lae.

Karik halo hanesan ne’e, ita nia lider bele minimiza projetu nia impaktu negativu, no mós bele garante katak povu Timor-Leste bele hetan benefísiu másimu husi portu foun ne’e – nune’e bele loke dalan ba futuru ne’ebé sustentável ba ita hotu.

Project implementation

The signing of the PPP Concession Agreement meant that Timor-Leste had to come up with its $129 million share, and the 2016 State Budget was increased in August to appropriate that amount, which had not been considered when the budget was originally approved in January.

In August 2016, the Ministry of Finance began recruiting personnel to manage the Tibar Port project, advertising for a civil engineer, a national environmental and social officer, an administration and finance officer, a manager for the Project Management Unit and an advisor for the Project Management Unit. Applications are due by 8 September.

On 16 June 2017, Timor Port S.A. (the Public-Private Partnership of the Timor-Leste government and the Bolloré Consortium) held a ground-breaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of Tibar Bay Port. However actual construction did not start for another year. Politicians, including Ministers Xanana Gusmão and Agio Pereira, promised that it will help diversify Timor-Leste’s economy, provide jobs and boost local industry.

La’o Hamutuk is skeptical of these claims because we believe that lower trade costs will decrease the price of imported goods, further our import dependency, and make it harder for Timor-Leste businesses to compete with international competitors. Although advocates of the port argue decreased trade costs could also make it less costly to export our own products, cheap imports will make it even more difficult for our country to build its productive agriculture sector.

As required by Environmental Licensing Decree-Law 5/2011, Timor Port S.A. submitted an Environmental Impact Statement and an Environmental Management Plan, these versions were finalized on 18 October 2017. These documents were prepared by Advisian, part of the WorleyParsons Group, and their 609 pages describe the environmental and social risks during each stage of implementation, as well as plans to mitigate these risks. They conclude that some of the greatest environmental and social impacts are from the removal of undersea habitats and disruption of livelihoods for the fishers in the community. We appreciate that this process was thorough and included public consultation.

Timor-Leste granted an environmental license to Timor Port S.A. in March 2018. When the environmental license was issued in March 2018, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri assured the public that “the environmental management of this project will receive great attention from the Seventh and Eighth Governments, as sustainability is directly linked to environmental management.” La’o Hamutuk appreciates that officials acknowledge that good environmental management is important to the future of Timor-Leste.

On 12 December 2017, Timor Port S.A. subcontracted the construction of the port to China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC). CHEC develops and operates the overseas projects of its parent company, China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), and has undertaken projects throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Some of their biggest projects include constructing South Asia’s largest port in Sri Lanka, a major highway in Zimbabwe, and upgrading one of West Africa’s largest ports in Guinea.


Bainhira sira asina kontratu konsesaun, Governu Timor-Leste nian tenke selu tokon $129 ba ninia parte, no orsamentu estadu 2016 hetan retifikasaun iha fulan Agosto atu aloka montante ida ne'e, ne’ebé seidauk iha hanoin iha fulan Janeiru bainhira sira aprova OJE orijinál ba 2016.

Iha fulan Agosto 2016, Ministériu Finansas hahú rekrutamentu ba ema balun atu jere projetu Portu Tibar. Sira fó vaga servisu ba civil engineer ida, national environmental and social officer ida, administration and finance officer ida, jestór ba Project Management Unit ida no asesór ba Project Management Unit ida. Tenke aplika molok loron 8 Setembru.

CHEC is recruiting employees and suppliers for the design and construction of the Port, and Timor Port S.A. and CHEC hosted a “Tibar Port Trade Fair” on 19 July 2018. 345 of the 442 advertised jobs for individuals are for construction laborers, with a planned start date of 1 May 2020. Therefore, we expect that most of the work on Tibar Port in 2018-2019 will be planning and design.

La’o Hamutuk attended the Trade Fair and talked with stakeholders. Bolloré’s Regional Implementation Manager YouYi Ng told us about project plans, the implementation process, and opportunities for Timorese workers, especially those from affected local communities.

More than 900 people have submitted CV’s since the Trade Fair, approximately half of whom are from Tibar, Ulmera and Ermera. Timor Port S.A. and CHEC held a separate event for the local Tibar community, where they answered questions and encouraged local residents to apply to work on the project.

These employment opportunities are all for short-term construction jobs. La’o Hamutuk believes that Timor-Leste should also consider the long-term employment opportunities and impacts of the Port. According to Ng, the Port will employ at least 300 people long-term, who will be operate the port 24/7. Some will be management and technical positions, and many will be lower-paid stevedores, drivers and security guards. At the beginning stages of implementation and operation, the skilled position (better-paid level positions) will be held by a small number of international staff. The plan is for these positions to be transferred to Timorese over time through knowledge transfer and training. These trainings are important in ensuring the port helps to build local skills and capacity.

Timor Port S.A. launched the start of construction with a ceremony at the site on 31 August 2018. However the next 6 months will be mostly designing and planning, with actual construction likely beginning in late 2018/early 2019, in two phases. Each new section of the port will be constructed based on future traffic and future projections. For example, if traffic grows more slowly than expected, the port may be smaller than anticipated. However, if traffic is higher, Bolloré will proceed with the full project plan.

Corruption and fraud charges have not slowed down Tibar Port

The World Bank banned contracting with CCCC and all its subsidiaries (including CHEC) from 2011 until 12 January 2017 to engage in any road and bridge projects. The blacklisting derived from an earlier blacklist of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which was found to have engaged in fraudulent practices while implementing a major road project in the Philippines. CCCC is the designated successor to CRBC and therefore blacklists which applied to CRBC also apply to CCCC and its subsidiaries.

The contract awarded to CHEC for the Tibar Port project would not have been affected by the blacklist, because it is not a road or bridge project. Additionally, the contract was awarded in December 2017, which was after the ban had been lifted.

In April 2018, Vincent Bolloré, Chairman of his family’s company, Bolloré Group, was arrested in France on corruption charges. Bolloré was accused of indirectly influencing election outcomes in Togo and Guinea in return for lucrative port contracts. Bolloré was released after being questioned, and the investigation is ongoing. Bolloré Group released a statement.

Neither the arrest of Vincent Bolloré, nor the past disbarment of CCCC, has yet impacted the implementation of Tibar Port, however it should encourage Timor-Leste’s government to be more diligent in deciding what people and companies to get involved with. It underlines the need for more transparency in dealings with foreign investors, including publishing tenders and contracts. Through transparency and accountability, we can prevent Timor-Leste from experiencing the kind of corruption that these companies have brought to Togo, Guinea and the Philippines.


Timor-Leste has paid its entire obligation to build the Port

Although the Concession Agreement between the Timor-Leste government and Bolloré was never made public, the Regional Implementation Manager, Ng, has assured La’o Hamutuk that the Timor-Leste government will not have to pay more than what was originally agreed upon, even if the port proves unprofitable or costs of implementation are higher than projected. Timor-Leste’s $129 million commitment was paid into an escrow account at the end of 2016, as part of the mid-year rectification of the 2016 State Budget.

We are reassured by Ng’s promise that the responsibility for economic risk falls entirely on Bolloré, but La’o Hamutuk continues to urge that the Concession Agreement be made public. The people of Timor-Leste have the right to know exactly how their money is spent and the details of the Government’s deals.


Documents (reverse chronological order)

From RDTL Government, IFC and Bollore

Dokumentu (hahu ho foun liu)

Husi Governu RDTL no IFC


Analysis and commentary

Lei sira

Analiza no komentariu ruma (Ingles)


The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua D. Alberto Ricardo, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
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