Construction of the Tibar Bay Port

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Construction of the Tibar Bay Port

Government officials responsible for the Tibar Bay Port Project, the acting Minister for Planning and Strategic Investment, the acting Minister of Finance, the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of Transport and Communications, aware of and concerned with the impact that the suspension of works on the quarry operated and managed by China Harbor Timor, Lda. may have on the construction of the Tibar Bay Port, gathered information about the precautionary measure ordered by the Dili District Court regarding the plot of land allocated to the quarry.

This project is of public interest, is part of the National Strategic Development Plan for Timor-Leste 2011-2030 and has been supported and promoted by the various Constitutional Governments.

Upon analysing the case, it was found that the court ordered the injunction over the wrong plot of land, i.e., a provisional restoration of possession was petitioned over one plot and the court ordered the injunction over another plot, which created confusion and astonishment for everyone, including the Government itself.

According to the case, the petition concerns a plot that is located over 1 (one) KM away from the plot that was the object of the injunction ordered by the court. Such error determined that access to the quarry be sealed, which prevented the works to progress, with serious risks to the construction of the Tibar Bay Port, which could end up without the supply of the necessary building materials.

According to the information by the National Directorate for Land and Property and Cadastre Services, the plot that was wrongly executed is a plot which still has its ownership under disputed by the State itself and is being verified by the Ministry of Justice.

In view of these facts, the Government decided to act, on behalf of the State and in the defence of the public interest, to alert the Court to the error that was committed, so that the injunction be reviewed and declared null and the immediate removal of fences and / or any other means preventing access to the quarry is ordered.

China Harbor Timor, Lda, which is a subcontractor to the Tibar Bay Port concessionaire, uses the quarrying ground with the knowledge, authorisation and perfect collaboration of all relevant authorities, including the local community, Mota Ikun Hamlet Chief, the Mota Ulun Suco Chief , the Administrator of the Bazartete Administrative Post, the Administrator of the Municipality of Liquiça, the PNTL Commander in Liquiça, the National Directorate of Land and Property and Liquiça Cadastral Services, the National Petroleum and Mineral Authority (responsible for the quarry licensing), the Tibar Bay Port Project Management Unit (responsible for the implementation of the Tibar Bay Port Project), as well as the Government members responsible for the implementation of the Tibar Bay Port project and the Secretary of State for Land and Property and the Minister of Justice.

In addition to this clarification before the court, the Government will take all necessary steps to safeguard the public interest in respect of the construction of the Tibar Bay Port, even if, for this purpose, it will have to resort to expropriation measures for public utility, with the  eventual payment of fair compensation, pursuant to the law and the Constitution, since the construction of the Tibar Bay Port, as a project of public interest and fundamental for national development, cannot be stopped. END