Bahrain - An international court has ruled in favour of Bahrain and awarded it $5 million in costs in a row over the construction of a waste-to-energy facility in the country.
The International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris has dismissed claims by French company Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée SA (CNIM) against the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry.
The tribunal rejected allegations by the company that Bahrain’s government was to blame for the project not moving forward. As a result, the tribunal dismissed CNIM claims, which were valued in excess of 180 million euros, and awarded Bahrain more than $5m in costs.
The proposed project envisaged a waste incineration facility to dispose of municipal waste with the heat released being used to generate electricity for sale to the Electricity and Water Authority.
However, the project always depended on CNIM finding financing.
After several attempts to agree upon an extension of the financing deadline, CNIM was unable to meet the deadline in accordance with the project agreement. Furthermore, the project was also subject to independent environmental review and licensing.
CNIM applied for the necessary environmental permit, but did not provide sufficient information and analysis to satisfy the concerns of the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE) that the proposed configuration of the facility would meet environmental standards.
The SCE’s position has been acknowledged by the tribunal as legitimate.
“The ministry always prefers to settle differences with foreign partners in an amicable and constructive manner,” it said in a statement issued yesterday following the finalisation of court documents.
“However, when excessive demands are made and cannot be accepted, the public interest requires that we resist unwarranted claims with the fullest determination.
“We are pleased with this resolution of the dispute by a neutral authority and remain committed to welcoming foreign companies to invest in Bahrain’s comprehensive economic development.”
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