Legal Issues Stall Payment Of Mambila Power Plant Debt

August 11, 2021
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Minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that the federal government’s effort to source $200 million for settlement of International Court of Arbitration in Paris award in favour of the Chinese firm, Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited is being frustrated by the litigations surrounding the judgement.

Mrs Zainab in an interview with journalists yesterday said the federal government hopes to get the facility from the Export–Import Bank of China. “We are working now with the bank to realise the facility and the payment will be from that facility.

“There have been some challenges because there is a legal issue around it. And the bank has been unconfortable, completing the negotiations until the legal issues are sorted out,” the finance minister stated.

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The $200 million settlement offer was to compensate Sunrise Power for the unlawful termination of the contract for the 1,525 megawatts Mambilla hydropower project and the re-award of the same to another Chinese firm.

Sunrise is expected to relinquish all claims to the project once the requirements contained in the agreement with the federal government were settled.

The government also agreed to pay a penalty of 10 per cent in case of a default in fulfilling the settlement agreement — in addition to restoring Sunrise as the local content partner for the $5.8 billion hydroelectric project.

The project, the biggest plant in the country, was conceived in the 1970s but has suffered severe delays.

Sunrise Power had in 2017, claimed to have been awarded the build, operate and transfer (BOT) contract in 2003. It dragged the federal government and its Chinese partners before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, France, over alleged breach of contract.

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