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Power Plant and National Electrical Grid
Mega-project or mega-problem?

Sentral Eletrika no Rede Eletrisidade Nasional
Projeito boot ka Problema boot?

28 September 2011

Due to the large amount of information about this near-billion-dollar, multi-year project, La'o Hamutuk has created several web pages with information about different time periods. Follow these links to the page you want:


Since early 2008, Timor-Leste's government has been discussing and implementing an electric power system costing almost $400 million, based on used generators from China which will burn heavy oil. Prime Minister Gusmão promised to have electricity in every district by the end of 2009, based on a contract signed in October 2008 with Chinese Nuclear Industry Construction Company No. 22 (CNI22).

Throughout 2009, the project encountered growing criticism of its expense, design, environmental impacts, procurement procedures and legal processes. Work at the Hera generation site was suspended in August, with a major redesign undertaken. In November 2009, major "corrections" to the design were announced, and the cornerstone for the Hera site was laid on 15 January 2010.

Late in 2010, the Government realized that CNI22 was incapable of implementing the project, and the Hera and Betano power stations were re-contracted to the new Indonesian company Puri Akraya Engineering, which was to import engine/generator sets from the Finnish company Wartsila. The price of the generators doubled, and Parliament added $321 million to the 2011 State Budget to cover part of the costs.

During 2011, construction proceeded in earnest, as more information came out about the poor environmental, construction, labor, planning and implementation of the project. As the Prime Minister's 28 November deadline to electrify the north coast neared, the public began to pay more attention to the project which was consuming nearly half of all state expenditures. Unfortunately, a series of revelations, accidents, cost overruns, mismanagement and other events cause much skepticism and polemics.

The Hera plant went into operation in late 2011, and the Betano plant the following year. The project continues to be costly to fuel and operate, requiring significant maintenance expenditures, and, as of 2017, about one-forth of Timorese households remain unconnected to the grid. Click here for the most recent information.

Tamba iha informasaun barak kona-ba projeitu tinan barak ne’ebe gasta osan besik dolar biliaun ida, La’o Hamutuk kria tiha pajina web balun ho informasaun kona-ba period de tempu ne’ebe lahanesan. Tuir ligasaun ida ne’e ba pajina ne’ebe ita-boot hakarak:


Desde iha inisiu 2008, Governu Timor-Leste diskute no implementa ona sistema eletrika ida ho kustu besik tokon $400, bazeia ba jerador uzadu husi Xina nebe sei uza oleu pezadu. Primeiru Ministru Gusmão promete atu iha eletrisidade ba distritu tomak iha fin de 2009, bazeia ba kontratu ne'ebe asina iha Outubru 2008 ho Kompanha Konstrusaun Industria Nuklear No. 22 (CNI22).

Iha 2009 nia laran, projeitu neé hamoris kritika kona ba nia gastus, desenho, impaktu ambiental, prosedementu aprovisionamento nian no prosesu legal nian. Servisu iha sentral eletrika Hera suspende tiha iha Augustu 2009, hodi halo fali alterasaun bo’ot ba denzenho. Iha Novembru 2009, “koreksaun” bo’ot ba dezenho ne’e anunsia sai, no lansamento primeira pedra ba sentral Hera halao iha 15 Janeiru 2010.

Iha fin de 2010, Governu realiza katak CNI22 laiha kapasidade atu implementa projeitu ne’e, no kontratu ba sentral eletrika Hera no Betano entrega ba Puri Akraya Engineering, ne’ebe atu hatama jeradores husi kompania Finlandia, Wartsila. Presu jeradores sira ne’e sai dupla tiha, no Parlamentu aumenta tokon $321 ba Orsamentu Estadu 2011 atu kobre parte husi kustu balun.

Durante 2011, prosesu konstrusaun lao duni, no iha informasaun barak mak sai kona-ba asuntu ambiental, konstrusaun, trabalhadores, planu no implementasaun projeitu ne’ebe fraku. Bainhira Primeiru Ministru hateten katak loron 28 Novembru nudar loron hahu ba eletrifikasaun kosta norte, publiku hahu fo atensaun barak ba projeitu ne’ebe gasta osan besik metade husi gastu estadu nian tomak. Infelizmente, iha revelasoens, asidente, kustu ne’ebe sae ba beibeik, mal-jestaun no eventu sira seluk hamosu duvida no polemika barak.

Click on map to see it larger in English.

Click mapa ida ne'e atu haree boot liu iha Tetum.

Key Documents and links (in chronological order)

Dokumentu no ligasaun sira

Click on any image to see it larger.  Hili desenho ida atu hare'e boot liu.
The satellite photo was taken in July 2009; the photo at right in September 2011.        Foto ne’e hasae husi satelit iha Julho 2009; foto iha liman los ne’e iha Setembru 2011

A temporary port was built at Behau, Manatuto in August 2011 to offload the engines for the Hera power plant. One 270-ton generator fell off the truck en route to Hera.
Portu temporariu ne’ebe hari’i iha Behau, Manatutu iha Agustu 2011 atu hatuun jerador sira ba sentral eletrika Hera. Jerador ida ho toneladas 270 monu husi kareta iha dalan atu ba Hera.

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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