East Timor government approves construction of dock for frigates built in China

3 March 2010

Dili, East Timor, 3 March – The government of East Timor construction of a provisional dock in the port of Hera as a base for patrol ships that are being built in China, the government said Tuesday.

According to a government statement, the Council of Ministers in an extraordinary meeting approved construction of a transitional dock at the port of Hera.

“Construction of this transitional port meets the urgent need for a dock for two frigates acquired recently by the government and which are due soon to arrive in East Timor,” said the statement published by the State Secretariat of the Council of Ministers.

The acquisition of two vessels is part of the strategy to restructure the naval component of East Timor’s Armed Forces (F-FDTL), which has all its naval facilities based at Hera where the dock will now be built, on a transitional basis, as the Timor government plans to build a new naval base.

The East Timor government ordered two “Shanghai III” ships from China with a 700 mile range that are able to operate for long periods out at sea.

The aim is for the two ships to improve patrol of the coast, which is seen as vulnerable, particularly within Timor’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), where illegal fishing has been recorded. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH