Romania wins court case at Washington international arbitration tribunal in USD 450m dispute over Hidroelectrica contracts

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Romania has won the lawsuit against Alpiq AG Switzerland at the international arbitration tribunal in Washington DC, as it rejected the financial claims to the Romanian state, of about USD 450 million, for denouncing the energy sales-purchase contracts of the traders with SPEEH Hidroelectrica.

“Hidroelectrica welcomes the ruling of the International Arbitration Tribunal in Washington, which rejected the Alpiq AG’s financial claims against the Romanian state represented by the Ministry of Energy. Actually, by the ruling pronounced on November 9, the court has ruled in favour of Romania, arguing that the claim from Alpiq AG Switzerland to receive compensation of about USD 450 million for terminating the energy sales and purchase contracts of the traders with SPEEH Hidroelectrica is unfounded,” Hidroelectrica informs in a press release.

Alpiq AG opened an international arbitration procedure in 2014 following a series of lawsuits against Hidroelectrica, the company considering that Romania violated its rights guaranteed by the bilateral investment treaty between Romania and Switzerland (BIT, 1993) and the Energy Chart Treaty (ECT, 1994).

All the charges in arbitration have been dismissed by the November 9 decision.

“The fact that the Ministry of Energy has won this battle for Romanians and for Hidroelectrica can only bring us joy, we are thus certified that at the end of this struggle we were right. We believe that the episodes of ‘smart guys’ or the meaningless investments will be over, Hidroelectrica deserves better,” Bogdan Badea, president of the company’s management, said.

Hidroelectrica estimates it will earn a net profit of more than RON 2 billion in 2018. The company has planned over RON 5.56 billion for investments over the next five years.

The ‘smart guys’ of energy were called the Hidroelectrica partners in long-term contracts concluded by direct negotiation since 2004. This category includes energy traders, large consumers – industrial producers, as well as suppliers of equipment and services.

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