The American government has delivered the feasibility study of the Dili Port Redevelopment Project to the Timorese government

Tue. 28 of March of 2023, 18:47h
finansa EUA 1

Dili, March 28, 2023 – The United States of America (USA) government, represented by the Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Timor-Leste, Tom Daley, handed over the "Feasibility Study of the Dili Port Redevelopment Project" to the Government of Timor-Leste. The Timorese government was represented by the Minister of Finance, Rui Gomes, the Minister of Economic Affairs Coordination, Joaquim Amaral, and the Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva.

The Feasibility Study of the Dili Port Redevelopment Project has chosen the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model and was carried out by the USAID Tourism For All Project. FINANSA EUA 3

Minister Rui Gomes mentioned that the 2011-2030 Strategic Development Plan (PED) forms the basis of the Program of the VIII Constitutional Government, outlining strategic infrastructure including ports. The PED also identified Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as one of the modalities for strategic investments. Timor-Leste began selecting the PPP model in 2014 through the Ministry of Finance, which established a specific unit for PPPs, prepared legislation, and recruited qualified personnel for the PPP Unit. All these efforts aim to ensure that PPP projects maintain high quality and provide significant economic, financial, and social returns to Timor-Leste.

The Minister also recalled that the Tibar Port, inaugurated last November, is an example of a project executed under the PPP model. In the four months since its operation began, the Tibar Port has already received 60 container ships, generating revenues of a total of 470,000 U.S. dollars for the State.

The Dili Port Redevelopment Project will combine transportation and tourism business components. In terms of transportation, the port will provide facilities for cruise ships, private yachts, and passenger boats that intend to travel to Ataúro Island for activities such as snorkeling, whale watching, dolphin watching, and fishing. As for the tourism business aspect, the project will offer facilities for hotels, restaurants, cafes, craft shops, conference rooms/community events, exhibition facilities, cultural and musical activities, spaces for tourism operators, and for small businesses in the tourism sector.

The financing for this project is estimated at 150 million U.S. dollars under the PPP model, which will encompass designing, financing, constructing, operating, and ultimately transferring this facility to the Timorese government.

The Minister also expressed gratitude for the efforts of the state entities involved in this PPP project and expressed hope that these supports will continue until the Dili Port development project is inaugurated, operational, and self-managed.

Recalling that in September 2021, the Council of Ministers approved the Dili Port Redevelopment Project, opting for the PPP model to be developed in accordance with the current legal and regulatory framework. The development plan for the restructuring and modernization of the Dili Port envisions that, after transferring the cargo functions to the new Tibar port, the old port will be converted into a marine tourism support facility and cruise port.

This venture is a strategic project due to its location in the central zone of Dili, its role in maritime connections for residents of Oe-cusse Ambeno and Ataúro, and its potential to boost marine tourism in Timor-Leste. The Dili Port Redevelopment Project will be managed by the Timor-Leste Port Authority (APORTIL), under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The project is a Public-Private Partnership with an estimated cost of 150 million U.S. dollars, aimed at transforming the Dili Port into a tourism hub encompassing cultural, recreational, and residential facilities, generating employment, and offering business opportunities for Dili residents, thereby enabling the capital of Timor-Leste to attract both domestic and foreign tourists.