12 November 2008

La'o Hamutuk study on onshore LNG in Timor-Leste

Sunrise LNG in Timor-Leste: Dreams, Realities and Challenges - A Report by La’o Hamutuk (Timor-Leste Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis) By Guteriano Neves, Charles Scheiner and Santina Soares February 2008

In 2006, La'o Hamutuk (Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis) conducted field visits to the areas most likely to be chosen for an onshore LNG facility, and consulted with people from local communities, local officials, national government, oil companies and international experts to gather the widest range of expertise and perspectives. We especially thank economist Dr. Martin Sandbu and industrial risk specialist Dr. Guillermo Franco for their expert input.

The principal outcome of this project was a 130-page report detailing the findings of the study, which was published in English in February 2008 on paper, CD-ROM and the internet. Since June the report is available in Bahasa Indonesia as well, and a shorter version in Tetum (all material is available on http://www.laohamutuk.org/, on the LNG topic page). Hard copies are available against almost cost price (we print and produce local) from the La'o Hamutuk office.

This report has been well received in many quarters as a very positive contribution to increasing knowledge in Timor-Leste about benefits and risks. The finding of La’o Hamutuk research has provided important new input for discussion, not only specific to a LNG plant but also applicable for discussions on other large investment projects, which is vital to the future development of Timor-Leste.

In August La'o Hamutuk revisited most of the places of the initial study, to socialize the findings and find out what local communities thought. During those socializations La'o Hamutuk learned that information sharing of other studies (most notably the Woodside and the Government study) could be improved and that there is a large need for open and unbiased consultations with communities. As per its mandate, La'o Hamutuk is always willing to further disseminate any information that promotes open and unbiased discussion on development, be it ours or from other sources.

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