FRETILIN responds to Media Release from President of the Republic on occasion of laying of the first stone of the Hera power station
FRETILIN.Media News Flash:
The media release emitted from the office of the President reads:
"According to the contract, the construction works are scheduled for conclusion by December 31st, 2011. An environmental impact assessment will be undertaken on a regular basis, namely by monitoring the emission of potential pollutant (smoke and/or leakage) in compliance with the limits established by the Kyoto Protocol."
The President and his advisors are best misguided, and or at worst misguiding the Timorese people with this statement, which is a brazen attempt to justify the hitherto, and continuing illegal actions of this de facto government, in relation to these heavy fuel power station proposals.
The FRETILIN parliamentary group has formally requested documents relating to both the procurement as well as any environmental impact assessments. Neither have been delivered to date, the former because of the arrogance of the Gusmao de facto government towards the parliament, and the latter because such an assessment has never been undertaken.
Under Timor-Leste law an environmental impact assessment is required prior to any such large scale project is approved, and certainly before it starts. The cancellation of the previous contract for the second hand heavy fuel stations and their replacement with what is purported to be new generators is still in breach of the environmental laws applicable in the RDTL, because there has not been an environmental impact assessment as required by the law.
"An environmental impact assessment will be undertaken on a regular basis", the President's media release states. The law is clear in that it is undertaken and assessed as to whether what is proposed complies with the law and its guidelines for protection of the environment.
The lack of transparency in relation to this very important investment and potentially very damaging to our fragile natural environment continues with renewed vigor, and now it appears with the support of the President himself.
The FRETILIN parliamentary group will be considering the possibility of establishing a parliamentary commission of inquiry to examine the complete process hitherto for acquisition of the heavy fuel technology for electricity generation in Timor-Lese. Legal action is still a possibility to prevent a continuing breach of the law.
Whilst we support the need to invest in increasing access to electricity by our people, we are firm in our belief that all renewable alternative energy sources that are environmentally sustainable should first be fully explored and used. Timor-Leste has a number of such resources available, which have are being dismissed by the de Gusmao facto government.
More information on Heavy oil project go to La’o Hamutuk's report: Power Plant and National Electrical Grid