Hope Rises For Execution Of Mambilla Power Project As Sunrise Power Withdraws Suit Against FG

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CBN

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice – Channels  Television

Olusola  Bello

There seems to be hope in the horizon for the stalled Mambilla Power Project as all the legal encumbrances are being resolved to pave way for the  take off  of the multibillion dollar project,

According to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami,  who quest on the  Arise  Television Programme, he said that  Sunrise Power Transmission Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPTCL) has withdrawn its case against the Federal Government opening the way for the commencement of the Mambilla Power Project.

 

The minister in an interview that was  aired live and monitored by Business Standards said with the case closed,  investors are now free  to come into the project for the purpose of executing it.

“One good information that perhaps  calls for celebration that I wish to present for your consideration is the fact that Sunrise has indeed withdrawn its pending arbitral proceedings in respect of which it was claiming against the interest of the Federal Government for an amount within the region of around $1bn,” he said.

He said that the litigation is the only impediment to Mambilla Project . It  has  been the pending litigation  that stopped the investors from investing in Mambilla and this has  been effectively displaced with the withdrawal or discontinuation of the arbitral proceeding by Sunrise.

 

 

The Federal Government had in 2003 signed a contract to construct the Taraba-based Mambilla Power Project with Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited on a Build, Operate and Transfer, BOT, arrangement.

The FG afterwards awarded the Civil Works component of the Mambilla Project to a consortium of Chinese companies, led by China Gezhouba Group.

Consequently, Sunrise sued the Federal Republic of Nigeria and and Sinohydro Corporation Limited at the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) in Paris, France for contract breach

Sunrise sought before the court a compensation of $960m for the breach.

The project which was awarded to the company in Taraba State was expected to be Nigeria’s biggest plant with 3,050 megawatts. But the litigation had stalled the project for years.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria and Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited have mutually agreed to settle the dispute in this arbitration amicably.

The Federal Government had last year agreed to pay $200 million to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL) as final settlement of the dispute over the Mambilla power project in Taraba state

The settlement agreement — in addition to restoring Sunrise as the local content partner for the $5.8 billion hydroelectric project.

The  settlement deal was put together by  the former  minister of Power, Sale Mamman,  and Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation.

 

Sunrise Power had previously asked for an $80 million settlement in order to withdraw its arbitration claim against Nigeria in France over an alleged breach of contract.

But Babatunde Fashola, who was minister of power, had contended that there was no breach of contract as Sunrise had not done any work to warrant any demand or arbitration.

Fashola also questioned the integrity of the contract. However, with his exit from the ministry, a deal was put together by Mamman and Malami

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

The 3,050-megawatt facility will be the second largest hydropower plant in Africa when completed.

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

Malami and Mamman, the minister of power, signed on behalf of the federal government while Leno Adesanya signed as chairman and CEO of Sunrise.

“Under the request for arbitration, Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited claimed damages amounting to not less than US$960,000,000 as a consequence of a respondents breach of the GPEA,

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall, within a period of 14-days from the date of this Terms of Settlement, pay Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited the net (net of any deductions, charges or taxes howsoever called) sum of US$200,000,000.00 (two hundred million US dollars)in full and final settlement of the claims in this arbitration.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Should the Federal Republic of Nigeria fail to make such payment within the said 14-days period, the sum will immediately bear compounded interests at the yearly rates of 10% (ten percent), and in addition, the FRN shall automatically reinstate Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited as the executive local content partner to the Mambilla Hydropower project.

Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited shall take immediate steps to provide a Deed of Acceptance of the above sum and a Deed of Undertaking stating that upon, and only upon, the receipt by Sunrise Power and Transmission Limited of the net sum of US$200,000,000.00 (two hundred million United States dollars) in full and in immediately-available funds on its designated bank account, Sunrise Power and Transmission Limited shall withdraw all of its claims against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Sinohydro and more generally all and any claims of each Party to the arbitration against each other Party thereto shall stand irrevocably released, discharged and terminated. Each Party shall thereupon formally withdraw and drop any and all of its claims against every other Party to the arbitration.”

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