Timor-Leste national electricity supply is delivered by three main power plants at Hera, Betano and Oe-Cusse located on the north and south coasts of the island. The Hera and Betano power plants were installed in 2011 and are equipped with Wartsila 18V46 generators currently configured to fire on light fuel oil. The Inur Sakato (Oe-Cusse) power plant was installed in 2015 and is equipped with Wartsila 34DF generators also configured for light fuel oil. The Wartsila generators have capability for conversion to fire on natural gas.
Conversion of the power plants to fire on natural gas would achieve significant reductions to both fuel supply cost and greenhouse gas emissions. A reduction of annual expenditure on fuel import and improvement to environmental impact presents a compelling case to examine the investment required for conversion.
The Ministry of Public Works, through EDTL, E.P. (Eletricidade de Timor-Leste), is committed to implement the gas conversion of Hera and Betano power plants. Furthermore, the President of the Authority of RAEOA (Região Administrativa Especial de Oé-Cusse Ambeno) has conveyed his support on the conversion plan for Inur Sakato Power plant.
TIMOR GAP E.P., the National Oil Company of Timor-Leste, has therefore commenced a study programme to examine feasibility for supply of natural gas to each of the power plants. The studies will be conducted by its Downstream Business Unit with the following objectives:-
• Identify the potential market supply for import of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) to Timor-Leste;
• Identify potential site locations for implementation of an LNG import terminal and conduct a site selection assessment;
• Develop a concept design for an LNG import terminal and associated LNG regasification facilities;
• Perform geotechnical and geophysical surveys to support development of an LNG Import Terminal design;
• Study the mode of distribution of natural gas to the 3 power plants;
• Develop the capital and operating cost estimates for the LNG Import Terminal and natural gas distribution;
• Develop the implantation plan for facilities.
To support the programme TIMOR GAP, E.P. has awarded a contract with Wood Group Kenny Sdn Bhd, a global consulting and engineering company, to perform a six month Feasibility Study for a lump sum price of USD 720,825.56. The contract signature ceremonies held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and Dili, Timor-Leste were concluded on 30th March 2021.
In addition, TIMOR GAP, E.P. is in discussion with the US Embassy for potential support through its TAF (Transaction Advisory Fund) programme for funding and delivery of the environmental impact assessment and surveys for an LNG Import Terminal.
Industrial development will depend upon a secure and competitively priced energy source and therefore implementation of an LNG Import Terminal would be an important national infrastructure project.