ANPM’s efforts to upscale knowledge transfer

As stated in Autoridade Nacional do Petróleo e Minerais’ (ANPM) Institutional Strategic Action Plan 2019-2023, engagement with local content will play a great role during this period as it is mentioned at least 30 times as a task and/or performance indicator for various proposed programs. Furthermore, local content has its own strategic imperative and objectives, which are to “enhance the Capability of the Local Content Team to professionally and effectively deliver the local content key objectives activities”; “establish Timor-Leste Local Content monitoring, evaluation and audit in compliance with the local content requirements”; “establish the Local Content Competency Development Framework”; “increase the number of staff employed under the Local Content Department”; and “to establish a Local Content Network to coordinate with relevant partners and stakeholders in and outside of the country”, respectively.

Moreover, during the 4th official Energy & Mining Summit in Dili during the month of June, Mr. Estanislau Martins, Manager at ANPM and appointed voice on Timorese Local Content, participated in a panel discussion where he communicated the key fundamental elements in the implementation of Local Content in Timor-Leste, the major Local Content developments and challenges in the island, as well as the significant lessons learnt and the vision ahead for Local Content development, all focusing on 4 key points: training and employment; provision of goods and services; knowledge transfer and know how; and Annex D on Local Content Commitment.

What should be the focus of local content?

According to the Caltech Group, a 100% locally-owned company, local content development must focus on capacity building and training, must be based on SME creation, should center in growing a thriving local supply chain, and change must be genuine, not tokenistic.

The aforementioned can be made clear through employment of locals, Other Country National (OCN) mentorship, equality and diversity, good and sustainable recruitment, workforce retention, career advancement, multi-faceted opportunity creation, a clear development model based on internationally recognised transferable skills, skilled positions and low-skill entry jobs, linking with other businesses, and building supply chain resilience.

Local content stakeholder ecosystem and take-in pre-requisites

The following is the stakeholder ecosystem in local content in extractive industries, as well as some of the local content take-in pre-requisites, presented by Banco Nacional de Comércio de Timor-Leste (BNCTL).

  • Government: local content policy and regulations, ensure coordination and fiscalizing;
  • National Oil Companies (NOCs): develop collaboration and support;
  • International Oil Companies (IOCs): promote local content and support implementation;
  • Procurement and Constructions: implement local content, now, & beyond downfall – sustainability;
  • Educational system: promote know-how and meet demands in the energy and mining sectors;
  • Financial Institutions: financing of local business to meet local content strategies;
  • International Financial Institutions (IFIs): finance large energy and mining projects;
  • Local infrastructure: road, port, airport, housing, connectivity, health and education facility;
  • Local policies: promoting local content on supply of goods and services but avoid stringent regulations;
  • Local environment: including economic, social and political stability, Doing Business;
  • Local capability: know-how and ability to perform.
  • Suppliers.

Timor-Leste’s national local content strategy

In Alignment With The Government of Timor-Leste’s SDP 2011-30, TIMOR GAP, the country’s NOC, has developed a national local content strategy that is lined up with the following:

(i) Developing and deploying a cohesive and comprehensive economic empowerment program to strengthen TIMOR GAP’s roles in local content and local business development;

(ii) Enhancing the private sector contribution to TIMOR GAP’s activities/investments through 5 strategic Initiatives: government-Industry local content collaboration; national workforce generation; technology transfer; industrialization; and public sector partnerships.

Furthermore, the NOC is committed to continue working towards local content development by:

(i) Aiming to contribute in creating the greatest value for Timor-Leste from petroleum activities through responsible management of resources whilst maintaining careful consideration for QHSE;

(ii) Implementation of local content as an obligation to add value, with a percentage to be managed and regulated by the government of Timor-Leste;

(iii) Standing with the community as a family to build and preserve the environment and natural resources of Timor-Leste.

Local content at the Bayu-Undan project, and beyond

As explained by Santos during the Summit, as the Bayu-Undan Field is a close-to-end-of-life field, Santos and JV partners are looking to continue to invest in Timor-Leste with both exploration and carbon storage projects; nevertheless, in order to continue developing the Bayu-Undan project, among other projects, the company and its partners must focus on the following investments in order to retain local content.

(i) Vocational training to develop future onshore workforce required to support Operations out of Timor-Leste – Crane drivers, riggers, scaffolders, welders, truck drivers, fork and EWP operators, etc;

(ii) Retrain existing offshore workforce to be ready for future suspension of operations and future carbon capture and storage roles;

(iii) Expand local procurement to support full transition of Bayu-Undan onshore operations to Timor;

(iv) Transition exiting Bayu-Undan support contracts to Timor-Leste entities where capacity exists or can be developed;

(v) Prepare the FSO Liberdade for disposal through Tibar port;

(vi) Establish an Enterprise Support Service in Dili to facilitate engagement and assist local enterprises develop the skills and capacity to take on supply and support services either directly or in partnership with international providers.

Long Lasting philanthropy

During the 4th official Energy & Mining Summit, and as a promoter of beneficent activities that support the development of local content in Timor-Leste, IN-VR implemented the following activities in order to boost knowledge transfer.

On one hand, the Summit had a sponsored Local Content Day, which allowed local SMEs to attend the event, for free, and promote themselves, as well as other types of companies at a discounted price.

On the other hand, IN-VR also held a charity fundraising in the Presidential Palace, which was inaugurated by H.E. President Jose Ramos Horta, for Orfanato de Santa Teresinha-Quelecay; the fundraising pledged USD $12,000 to support drilling for potable water in remote areas of the island.

About the Author: Felipe Gaitán Michelsen