Antin and RREEF, two funds linked to Deutsche Bank and BNP, sue Spain in the court of World Bank arbitration by cuts to concentrating solar thermal power.
Large international investment funds have sued Spain with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID ), the arbitration body that is part of the World Bank. Spain will have to defend himself before the main center of arbitrations against States for the protection of investments. This is the same agency to which Repsol sued Argentina for the expropriation of YPF.
International investors have submitted two requests for arbitration at ICSID against Spain. The first was signed by RREEF Infrastructure Limited and Pan -European Infrastructure II Lux. The second was filed by the companies Antin Antin Infrastructure and Energy Services Luxembourg Termosolar BV .
RREEF Infrastructure is an investment vehicle promoted by Deutsche Bank in Spain having investments in renewable energy, both wind energy and solar power. Antin is a French investment firm infrastructure in which BNP is the managing partner and the largest investor in the fund which started its activity. It has investments in France, Germany , UK, Italy and Spain, among other countries. In Spain plays Axión (Abertis competitor in the business communications towers) and also has investments in solar thermal energy, causing the lawsuit.
Antin and RREEF ACS bought 90% of concentrating solar thermal power plants Andasol 1 and Andasol 2 in an operation that involved a valuation around € 830 million, including debt . Each of the investors bought 45 % stake , while the company chaired by Florentino Perez retained the remaining 10%. According to the annual accounts of ACS 2012, Andasol 1 and 2 in 2012 had assets of 620 million and a turnover of 101 million. The two concentrated solar power plants are located in Guadix, Granada, about 1,100 meters, and began operating in 2008 and 2009.
The arbitration claims due to cuts in the compensation of the thermal activities. The information on the assets of RREEF, Deutsche Bank pointed to justify investment "both plants benefit from a transparent, stable and attractive regulatory framework with the sale of its guaranteed production during their operational lives." Antin and RREEF paid dearly for Andasol 1 and 2 ACS counting the returns associated with renewable raw . They believe that cutting profitability violates the legal security of investments and is a retroactive change in the rules of the game.
According to sources from ICSID, both submitted their requests for arbitration on 22 November. Both are represented by the most active in claims against Spain for cuts in renewable London office of Allen & Overy, the law firm. By the Spanish State will be the State Attorney General and the Director of the Legal Service of the State that must deal with the lawsuit.
Spain had so far received only two other demands of international investors with ICSID in the 19 years he has been part of the body. The first was in 1997, when the Argentine Agustín Maffezini sued by an investment in the chemical sector in Spain, which ended up being ordered to pay 350,000 euros. The second was a lawsuit filed last year by a Venezuelan firm ( IGB ) for investment property in Las Rozas ( Madrid) for about 25 million euros.
The most popular countries before the ICSID are often those with the most problems of legal certainty. At the top are Venezuela (which has decided to leave the body after the deluge of complaints) and Argentina, by frequent expropriations and breach of contract .
But Spain now faces the risk of also receiving a barrage of complaints to the ICSID and other international arbitration, not only by cuts to pay for renewable energy already made, but also for those who are running to be enacted .
Abengoa , through its subsidiary CSP Equity Investment Sarl, has sued the Spanish Government as a signatory of the Treaty of the Energy Charter therefore considered a "taking" of their legitimate interests in CSP plants Helioenergy 1 and 2, two Solaben and 3, 1 and 2 Solacor. The arbitration will be held in The Hague in accordance with the rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, as revealed by Abengoa prospectus registered in the United States.
But industry sources believe that the offense has not gotten started and expect many more demands of investors, both cuts to renewable raw end of last year and by those who come when you start to apply the concept of " reasonable return " under sector reform , also answered in the Spanish courts for domestic firms. Spain played hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in electricity sector reform has become a big business for lawyers.