GN takes Colombia to arbitration

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Natural Gas World | 22 March 2017

GN takes Colombia to arbitration

by Mark Smedley

Spanish utility Gas Natural (GN) said March 22 it has launched arbitration proceedings against Colombia.

Colombia announced last week that it will liquidate Electricaribe, a local electricity distributor and energy marketer in which GN has an 85.38% stake.

The regulator there indicated there was no guarantee of compensation for the Spanish -rm – which has consequently now begun proceedings against Colombia at Uncitral, the UN arbitration tribunal – and added that Electricaribe had failed to provide the quality and continuity of service due.

GN is owed €1.3bn by Electricaribe customers and says much of this was because of fraud. Electricaribe invested €255mn between 2011 and 2015. But GN now stands little success of recovering any of this, unless through arbitration.

Last month GN also said it is still involved in an arbitration case against Qatargas, one of its long-term LNG suppliers, but that it hoped to reach a settlement before the -nal ruling is delivered.

Meanwhile Spanish gas grid operator Enagas has a dispute with the Peruvian government over the termination of a gas pipeline concession in which it owned a stake; it has said that arbitration will be a last option, if a compromise cannot be agreed.