- Apr 5, 2021 4:41 pm GMT
The impoverished Australasian island of East Timor has pulled a notable U-turn by pursuing imports of liquefied natural gas, drawing a line under years of fruitless efforts to develop the country’s own domestic gas resource – and ignoring cheaper and cleaner alternatives.
Timor wants to convert three power plants from light fuel oil to relatively cheaper and cleaner natural gas. Importing LNG is now seen as the fastest way to achieve this, after a Chinese-backed plan to liquefy gas from East Timor’s Greater Sunrise offshore field hit the skids.
Replacing Timor-Leste’s three thermal power generators – which together are less than 270 MW – with a combination of wind, solar power and battery storage does not seem to have been considered, despite plunging costs and Timor’s abundant renewable resources.
East Timor has woken up to the folly of pursuing highly speculative economic benefits of a domestic LNG project, only to fall back in bed with a problematic non-solution.
Read more in today's edition of Energy Flux - the daily news-and-views-letter dedicated to chronicling the global energy transition.
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