Energy

Modernizing the Energy Charter Treaty: What about termination?

Negotiations for modernizing the Energy Charter Treaty, a 1994 agreement covering trade, investment and other aspects of the energy sector among its contracting parties, are expected to begin before 2019 draws to a close. Yet given the need identified in myriad other forums to reform ISDS and to ensure trade and investment agreements can support ambitious climate action, why aren’t more officials and commentators discussing the possibility of terminating the ECT entirely, or of reconsidering its survival clause for those parties which choose to withdraw? Tania Voon explores the issue and outlines options going forward.

@taniavoon
@MelbLawSchool

News  |  September 19, 2019

Energy Charter Treaty: EU Council endorses negotiating directives for Brussels

The European Council has approved negotiating directives for the EU’s participation in talks to modernize the ECT, confirming its decision during a meeting on July 2, 2019.

Spain’s Renewable Energy Saga: Lessons for international investment law and sustainable development

Spain has faced approximately 40 arbitrations since it made the decision in 2010 to rescind or revise various regulatory measures aimed at drawing in greater investments into renewable energy projects. This article examines the awards issued in four of those cases, looking in particular at how the tribunals interpreted and applied the FET standard. The author looks at the potential problems that can emerge when states are unsure of how any given tribunal may interpret FET or other key standards and presents some potential solutions.

News  |  June 27, 2019

EU Commission proposes negotiating directives for ECT modernization

The EC released on May 14 a set of draft negotiating directives setting out its proposed approach in “modernizing” the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

ICSID tribunal finds Spain breached ECT obligations by failing to provide a reasonable rate of return

RREEF INFRASTRUCTURE (G.P.) LIMITED AND RREEF PAN-EUROPEAN INFRASTRUCTURE TWO LUX S.A R.L. V. KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/13/30

Investors’ legitimate expectation claims against Italy dismissed due to the absence of specific commitments

BLUSUN S.A., JEAN-PIERRE LECORCIER AND MICHAEL STEIN V. ITALIAN REPUBLIC, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/14/3

Italy found liable for change in renewable energy policy in intra-EU arbitration

GREENTECH ENERGY SYSTEMS A/S & ORS. V. THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC, SCC ARBITRATION V (2015/095)

Awards  |  December 21, 2018

Achmea judgment analyzed and FET claim granted in ECT case against Spain

FORESIGHT LUXEMBOURG SOLAR 1 S.À.R.L., FORESIGHT LUXEMBOURG SOLAR 2 S.À.R.L., GREENTECH ENERGY SYSTEMS A/S, GWM RENEWABLE ENERGY I S.P.A. AND GWM RENEWABLE ENERGY II S.P.A. V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, SCC ARBITRATION V (2015/150)

Awards  |  December 21, 2018

Egypt found liable for the shut-down of an electricity plant during the 2011 uprising

UNIÓN FENOSA GAS, S.A. V. ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/14/4

Awards  |  October 17, 2018

Spain found to have breached the Energy Charter Treaty in award by ICSID tribunal

ANTIN INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES LUXEMBOURG S.À.R.L. AND ANTIN ENERGIA TERMOSOLAR B.V. V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/13/31

ICSID tribunal finds Spain in breach of the FET standard under the Energy Charter Treaty

MASDAR SOLAR & WIND COOPERATIEF U.A. V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, ICSID CASE NO. ARB/14/1

Luxembourg fund awarded EUR 53.3 million for FET breach arising out of Spain’s curtailment of renewable energy incentive schemes

NOVENERGIA II – ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT (SCA) (GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG), SICAR V. THE KINGDOM OF SPAIN, SCC CASE NO. 063/2015

Solar energy claims brought by German investors against Czechia are dismissed

Jürgen Wirtgen, Stefan Wirtgen, Gisela Wirtgen and JSW Solar (zwei) GmbH & Co. KG v. Czech Republic, PCA Case No. 2014-03

Awards  |  September 26, 2017

All claims by Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands against Spain are dismissed

Isolux Infrastructure Netherlands B.V. v. the Kingdom of Spain, SCC Case No. V2013/153

Awards  |  September 26, 2017

Investors triumph over Spain in a claim concerning Spain’s regulatory overhaul for clean energy

Eiser Infrastructure Limited and Energía Solar Luxembourg S.à r.l. v. Kingdom of Spain, ICSID Case No. ARB/13/36

Expansion of the Energy Charter to Africa and Asia: Undoing Reform in International Investment Law?

The Energy Charter Secretariat is in expansion mode, wanting to gain access to energy resources in Africa and Asia for its members—and extending a far-reaching and outdated investment protection system to investments in resource-rich countries.

ITN  |  March 13, 2017

Awards and Decisions

ICSID tribunal dismisses claims brought against Indonesia based on forged mining licences Churchill Mining PLC and Planet Mining Pty Ltd v. Republic of Indonesia, ICSID Case No. ARB/12/14 and ICSID Case No. ARB/12/40 Inaê Siqueira de Oliveira [*] After rendering separate decisions on jurisdiction¾one for the case brought by British company Churchill Mining PLC under the United […]

NAFTA tribunal orders Canada to pay U.S. wind power developer more than CAD28 million

Windstream Energy LLC v. Government of Canada, PCA Case No. 2013-22  An arbitral tribunal under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has reached the award stage. Although dismissing the discrimination and indirect expropriation claims, the tribunal upheld the claim of failure to provide fair and equitable treatment (FET), and ordered Canada […]

Awards  |  August 10, 2016

Awards and Decisions

The long-expected final award has been rendered in the high-profile case initiated by tobacco giant Philip Morris in early 2010 against Uruguay over its tobacco control measures.

Awards  |  August 10, 2016

ICSID tribunal upholds Panama’s abuse of process objection; Transglobal to pay arbitration costs and most of Panama’s legal expenses

In the proceeding brought by Transglobal Green Energy, LLC (a U.S.-based company) and Transglobal Green Panama S.A. (a Panama-based company) against Panama under the United States–Panama bilateral investment treaty (BIT), an ICSID tribunal accepted Panama’s abuse of process objection.

Awards  |  August 10, 2016

NAFTA tribunal dismisses claims against Canada on green energy Feed-In Tariff program

An arbitration tribunal constituted under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has issued its award subject to a dissenting opinion.

News  |  May 16, 2016

US$50 billion awards against Russia in Yukos cases are set aside by Dutch court

In a judgment dated April 20, 2016, the District Court of The Hague, in the Netherlands, set aside awards that had ordered Russia to pay US$50 billion to the shareholders of Yukos, a bankrupt oil company.

Slovenia is condemned to pay €20 million in damages and US$10 million in costs to Croatian national electric company

An award rendered on December 17, 2015 by an arbitral tribunal constituted under the auspices of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) added a new—and apparently final—chapter to a nearly 20-year-old conflict between the governments of Croatia and Slovenia over the supply of electricity generated by the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (Krško NPP), located in Slovenia.

State Strategies for the Defence of Domestic Interests in Investor–State Arbitration

Argentina and Ecuador are now well experienced in ISDS and have had some success in defending domestic interests from investor claims. Lessons from these prior experiences could benefit other countries, particularly in the developing world, as they devise their legal defence strategies.

Awards  |  February 29, 2016

ICSID tribunal dismisses final claim for compensation in relation to Hungary’s 2008 termination of power purchase agreement

Electrabel S.A. v. Republic of Hungary, ICSID Case No. ARB/07/1

Does the Green Economy Need Investor–State Dispute Settlement?

Those that propose that the environment needs “more investment protection” are recommending a very long-term solution (of questionable efficacy) to what is essentially a short-term problem.

Awards  |  November 26, 2015

Energorynok had no ownership or control over energy-related economic activity; ECT case against Moldova dismissed

State Enterprise “Energorynok” (Ukraine) v. The Republic of Moldova, SCC Arbitration V (2012/175)

Tribunal found Mongolia liable for unlawful expropriation and awarded more than US$80 million in damages

Khan Resources Inc., Khan Resources B.V. and CAUC Holding Company Ltd. v. The Government of Mongolia and MonAtom LLC, PCA Case No. 2011-09

ITN  |  January 14, 2013

News in Brief

Canada receives investor complaints over provincial energy and environment policies In recent months the government of Canada has received two complaints related to energy and environmental policies adopted by its provinces. Both investors have served Ottawa with notices of intent to submit a claim to arbitration under NAFTA’s investment chapter. A Delaware-based energy firm is […]

ITN  |  October 30, 2012

Awards and Decisions

Majority declines jurisdiction in claim against Argentina over domestic litigation requirement Daimler Financial Services AG v. Argentine Republic, ICSID Case No. ARB/05/1 Damon Vis-Dunbar A claim against Argentina by a subsidiary of the German automotive firm Daimler A.G. has failed on its merits because the claimant did not first bring the dispute to court in […]

ITN  |  July 19, 2012

News in Brief

Vattenfall launches new claim against Germany The Swedish state-run energy firm Vattenfall has launched a second claim against Germany. The claim stems from Germany’s May 2011 decision to phase-out its nuclear power plants, in which 8 plants have been shuttered and the remaining 9 plants to be closed over the next decade. While Germany has […]

ITN  |  July 19, 2012

Trends in Investor Claims Over Feed-in Tariffs for Renewable Energy

As governments increasingly turn to renewable energy to mitigate climate change, domestic climate-related policies in the form of price support measures such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) have played an important role in stimulating the much needed investment—public and private, domestic and foreign—in the sector. Feed-in tariffs are characterized by guaranteed electricity purchase prices (set higher […]

ITN  |  January 12, 2012

News in Brief

Philip Morris files for arbitration over intellectual property dispute with Australia The tobacco company Philip Morris filed for arbitration on 21 November 2011, claiming the government of Australia’s regulations on cigarette branding breach the Hong Kong-Australia bilateral investment treaty. The announcement arrived on the same day that the Australian Parliament passed legislation that bans most […]

Foreign investment contracts in the oil & gas sector: A survey of environmentally relevant clauses

The oil and gas industry faces increasingly strict environmental standards in developed countries. However, the majority of the world’s proven oil reserves are in developing countries and economies in transition, which often lack sophisticated regimes for environmental protection. Even when legislative frameworks are well developed, there are often deficiencies in capacity and an unwillingness to […]

ITN  |  October 7, 2011

News in Brief

More legal woes for Canada’s Feed-in Tariff program for renewable energy Canada could soon be faced with arbitration for alleged breach of its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On 6 July 2011, a Texas-based company, Mesa Power Group LLC, served Canada with a Notice of Intent to Submit a Claim to […]

ITN  |  September 23, 2010

News In Brief*

  *These are abridged versions of articles originally published by the independent news service Investment Arbitration Reporter (http://www.iareporter.com/). They are used with permission and may not be reproduced without the express permission of IAReporter.   Parties announce settlement of dispute over German power plant 28.8.2010 A Swedish power company and the Federal Republic of Germany […]

ITN  |  May 11, 2010

Pan American Energy takes Bolivia to ICSID over nationalization of Chaco Petroleum

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz May 11, 2010 Anglo-Argentinean energy firm Pan American Energy (PAE) has initiated arbitration against Bolivia over the nationalization of its subsidiary Chaco Petroleum by the Morales government in 2009.  The arbitration was registered by ICSID on April 12 2010, despite Bolivia having withdrawn from the ICSID Convention in 2007. A PAE […]

ITN  |  May 11, 2010

American gas services firm Exterran files for arbitration against Venezuela over nationalized assets

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz May 11, 2010 (NOTE: A correction has been made to this article.  An explanation is posted below) Houston-based Exterran Holdings has taken Venezuela to ICSID over the nationalization of its gas services support business in the country.  The arbitration, registered by ICSID on April 12, 2010, is the second in as […]

ITN  |  April 8, 2010

RSM Production Corp. files second arbitration against Grenada, sues Freshfields

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz April 8, 2010 On March 16, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) registered a second arbitration initiated by Denver-based RSM Production Corp against Grenada over the latter’s termination of the company’s exclusive oil rights off the coast of the island nation. RSM has claimed that corrupt Grenadian officials […]

ITN  |  March 10, 2010

Tribunals have been constituted in ICSID cases involving Egypt, Cambodia and Argentina

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 In the past two months, arbitral tribunals have been convened in a few ICSID arbitrations. Most recently, a tribunal was constituted in a dispute initiated by an American investor against the Republic of Egypt in relation to the alleged expropriation of its investment in the Arab Republic’s hotel and […]

ITN  |  March 10, 2010

Hearings take place in dispute between Electrabel and Hungary despite snowy weather

By Elizabeth Whitsitt March 11, 2010 Despite snow storm interruptions a tribunal, composed of Mr. V.V. Vedeer, Ms. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, and Ms. Brigitte Stern, heard the merits of the dispute between Belgium-based energy firm Electrabel SA and Hungary last month. Along with AES Summit Generation Limited v. Republic of Hungary, the Electrabel SA v. Republic […]

ITN  |  May 3, 2009

German government mum on Vattenfall ECT Claim

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 2 May 2009 The German government has declined to provide information on an investment dispute with the European utility Vattenfall on the grounds that it is against government policy to comment or disclose information on pending arbitrations. As has been reported in the financial press, Vattenfall is bringing the German government to international […]

ITN  |  March 27, 2009

Tribunal deniega alegato de necesidad en laudo recientemente publicado: National Grid p.l.c. c. República Argentina

Por Elizabeth Whitsitt 2 de Marzo, 2009 En un laudo recientemente publicado, un tribunal constituido conforme a una solicitud de arbitraje bajo las reglas de arbitraje de la Comisión de Naciones Unidas para el Derecho Mercantil Internacional (CNUDMI) encontró culpable a la República Argentina por los daños infringidos a National Grid p.l.c. por un total […]

Tribunal rebuffs defense of necessity in recently published award: National Grid p.l.c. v. Argentine Republic

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 2 March 2009 In a recently published award, a tribunal convened pursuant to a request for arbitration under the arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) found the Argentine Republic liable to the British firm National Grid p.l.c. for damages totaling more than US$53 million. The dispute, […]

ITN  |  January 12, 2009

Perú gana demanda multimillonaria del CIADI sobre un acuerdo de estabilización presentada por una firma americana de energía

Por Fernando Cabrera Díaz 23 de Diciembre de 2008 La República de Perú se ha defendido con éxito en contra de una demanda iniciada por la firma Aguaytia Energy LLC (AEL) con sede en Delaware. AEL ha reclamado US$142 millones en compensación por lo que según alega fue la violación de un acuerdo de estabilización […]

Awards  |  December 23, 2008

Peru wins dispute with American energy firm over the scope of a stabilization agreement

By Fernando Cabrera Diaz 23 December 2008 The Republic of Peru has defended itself successfully against a claim initiated by Delaware-based Aguaytia Energy LLC (AEL). AEL had sought US$142 million as compensation for what it claimed was Peru’s violation of a stabilization agreement. However, the Tribunal disagreed and instead held that the stability agreement did […]

ITN  |  September 22, 2008

Ecuador hallado culpable por violación de contratos de compraventa de energía eléctrica y tratado de inversión

Por Damon Vis-Dunbar 29 de Agosto de 2008 El proveedor de electricidad Electroquil SA fue otorgado US$ 5.578.566 más intereses producto de varias violaciones de contratos de compraventa de energía eléctrica (en inglés, PPAs) respaldados por el gobierno de Ecuador. Si bien Ecuador también fue encontrado culpable por haber infringido el tratado bilateral de inversiones […]

ITN  |  September 22, 2008

Se garantiza estabilidad impositiva a inversores extranjeros en Perú

Por Elizabeth Whitsitt 29 de Agosto de 2008 En uno de los dos laudos dictados por el CIADI en agosto donde la firma estadounidense Duke Energy se encuentra involucrada, un tribunal declaró culpable a la República de Perú frente a Duke Energy International Peru Investments No. 1 Ltd. (DEI Bermuda) por daños que alcanzan los […]

Awards  |  August 29, 2008

Duke Energy International Peru Investments No. 1 Ltd. v. Republic of Peru: Foreign investors in Peru are guaranteed tax stability

By Elizabeth Whitsitt 29 August 2008 In one of two ICSID awards handed down in August involving the US firm Duke Energy, a Tribunal has found the Republic of Peru liable to Duke Energy International Peru Investments No. 1 Ltd. (DEI Bermuda) for damages totaling US$ 18,440,746 plus interest after the SUNAT, Peru’s National Tax […]

Awards  |  August 29, 2008

Duke Energy Electroquil Partners and Electroquil SA v Ecuador: Ecuador found liable for breaches of power purchase agreements and investment treaty

By Damon Vis-Dunbar 29 August 2008 The electricity provider Electroquil SA has been awarded US$ 5,578,566 plus interest stemming from several breaches of power purchase agreements (PPAs) backed by the government of Ecuador. While Ecuador was also found to have breached the Ecuador-US bilateral investment treaty, those violations did not result in additional monetary damages. […]