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23 April 2013

Government and Community celebrate agreement on land use for Suai Supply Base

ETLJB 23 April 2013 - On the 11th of April the Prime Minister, His Excellency Kay Rala Gusmao and Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, His Excellency Alfredo Pires, joined with community leaders and members in Kamanasa Suco, Covalima District in a ceremony marking their agreement on the use of land for the building of the Suai Supply Base. The agreement comes after a long process of consultation with the local community over several years and bears testament to the commitment of the Government to balance their pro-business and investment policy with a genuine care for the welfare of the local people and their environment. In their agreement the local people released 1,113 hectares of land for the development.

The Suai Supply Base and Industrial Park will now proceed to be built on this site beginning with the first of three phases of construction. Over the first phase, a time frame of some 18-24 months, construction will be centered on preparing a support base for the oil and gas industry. This will include the construction of a breakwater, jetty, offices blocks, warehouse, liquid storage tank, open yard and mini shore base. Further phases will see the expansion of the port facilities opening up the south coast to a number of economic opportunities.

Besides the benefits to come in the form of jobs for local people during both the construction and operational phases, landowners are to be recompensed through a 10% share of profit from the project. This is a far more significant share than has been offered to traditional landowners in other countries including Australia.

The Suai Supply Base will be a key logistics support base for both onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration and production activities and forms a part of the Tasi Mane project set to develop the southern area of Timor-Leste. This project is planned to leverage the oil and gas resources of Timor-Leste to bring maximize benefits to the people of Timor-Leste.

Spokesperson for the Fifth Constitutional Government, Minister Agio Pereira noted “the Government appreciates the release of the land in the Kamanasa Suco for the building of the Suai Supply Base. The process has shown that the needs of various stakeholders can be balanced through a consultative process. This important step is a step into the future of south coast development and towards the benefits that will flow to the local communities and more broadly to the people of Timor-Leste. ENDS Source: Government of East Timor Press Release 22 April 2013

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