Timor-Leste has authorised a US$73.3 million finance agreement with Australia for works at Dili Airport.
"This is the last leg of the funding, so that progress can now be made on the project. We will now issue international tenders for this large-scale project," said Timor-Leste's Finance Minister Rui Gomes.
The agreement, which Rui Gomes expects to be signed in the next few weeks, foresees a financial contribution from Australia to Timor-Leste of US$28.3 million and a loan of US$45 million, with a 25-year maturity period.
This agreement is to be signed with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through Export Finance Australia-Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific.
The Australian support is intended for the technical design, procurement and construction of various structures necessary for airport operations and technical assistance for project implementation.
Rui Gomes explained that this is the last stage of a project that also involves financial support from the Japanese cooperation agency, worth US$44 million and a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), worth US$135 million, agreements already signed in 2021.
The ADB loan will fund the extension of the runway, construction of the control tower and rehabilitation of facilities at the airport, while the support from the Japanese government is directed towards the construction of a new passenger terminal and a power supply station for the airport.
Timor-Leste will inject US$30 million into the project to fund various civil construction works, land acquisition, tree compensation and other costs related to the rehousing of families in the surroundings of the airport.
The Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport development project work is due to be concluded by the end of 2025.