The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government has suffered a crushing loss in a 154 page ruling handed down by an international arbitration body in its dispute on the Grenada Electricity Company (GRENLEC) against an American power company known as WRB Enterprises.
In a judgment handed down on Thursday, the 3-man panel ordered the government to pay WRB over EC$200 million to buy back its majority shareholding interest in the island’s sole electricity generating company.
The International body said that one of the major difficulties facing the Grenada government in the hearing was not so much that it “lacked legal arguments” but the fact that it lacked “factual evidence necessary to sustain the legal arguments that were put forward with considerable gusto”.
The main witness for the government in the hearing was Public Utilities Minister, Gregory Bowen, a former General Manager of Grenlec during the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
In its ruling against government, the commissioners said that “the Tribunal orders pre and post Award interest from 3 May 2017 until payment of the Award (including interest and cost) at the rate fixed from time to time for Grenada 91-day Treasury Bills compounded annually”.
Among the decisions handed down by the Tribunal are the following:
- The present dispute is within the jurisdiction of the Centre and the competence of the Tribunal;
- A declaration that a Repurchase Event occurred within the meaning of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) dated 14 September 1994, namely the 2016 legislative termination of the 80-year monopoly.
- The Respondent (Grenada Government) is to pay the Claimants (WRB Enterprise) Compensation assessed at USD $58,427,962;
- The Respondent (Government) is to reimburse the Claimants (WRB Enterprise) for advances to ICSID in the sum of USD $239,972.37;
- The Respondent (Government) is to pay the Claimants’ Attorneys’ Fees and Disbursements in the sum of USD $6,333,142.51;
- The Respondent (Government) is to pay pre-Award and post-Award interest on the amount listed in (iv) or the balance outstanding from time to time at the rate fixed from time to time for Grenada 91-day Treasury Bills compounded annually from 3 May 2017 until fully paid;
- The Respondent (Government) is to pay interest on the amounts listed in (v) and (vi) or the balance outstanding from time to time at the rate fixed from time to time for Grenada 91-day Treasury Bills compounded annually from the date of the Award until fully paid;
- The aforesaid sums are to be paid by the Respondent and repatriated by the Claimants exempt from all Grenadian taxes, levies and other duties.
- The Claimants (WRB Enterprise) are to honor their undertaking to reimburse GRENLEC for the improper payment of USD $522,353.15 for legal and accounting services that ought to have been paid by the Claimants in the first place.
As a public service, THE NEW TODAY is reproducing in full the ruling of the Tribunal.