Constructora Seli Panamá, S.A. v. Electron Investment, S.A.

Morgan & Morgan represented Electron Investment, S.A. (“EISA”), in an arbitration process filed by Constructora Seli Panamá, S.A. (“SELI”), before the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”).

The request for arbitration was filed by SELI following certain disputes related to the contract for the construction of the tunnels of Pando and Monte Lirio Hydroelectric Projects, a contract that had been terminated by EISA as a result of a series of breaches by SELI, mainly due to failure to meet the deadline for the completion of the works. The construction contract was an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) using the silver book of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC, by its initials French), where the contractor assumes responsibility for the design and construction of the project, in this case, of the tunnels of the hydroelectric power plants.

The process was under arbitration at law, according to Panamanian law and according to the rules of procedure of the ICC, having seat in Panama City, Republic of Panama. The total sum of the claim filed by SELI amounted to US$94,065,202.00; and EISA, for its part, filed a counterclaim for an amount of US$110,000,000.00.

After the evidence was heard and the corresponding steps of procedure were concluded, the arbitral tribunal issued the final award dated January 29, 2018, communicated to the parties on February 14, 2018, accepting most of the EISA’s claims and ordering SELI to pay EISA the sum of US$22,524,862.58; that after compensating the sums recognized in favor of SELI, results in an amount in favor of EISA of US$14,653,362.12, plus costs and expenses.

SELI subsequently filed a motion for annulment of the award before the Fourth Chamber of General Businesses of the Supreme Court of Justice, which is pending resolution.

EISA is a Panamanian company whose shareholders are Aurel, S.A. (a Panamanian company owned by Grupo Eleta), Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo, COFIDES, S.A. (a Spanish company whose purpose is to provide medium and long-term financing for viable private investment projects abroad in which there is Spanish interest), and Genera Avante, S.L. (a Spanish owned company of Grupo Inveravante).

EISA has two hydroelectric generation concessions that use of the waters of the Chiriqui Viejo, Pando and Monte Lirio Rivers, which together have an installed capacity of 85MW. Monte Lirio started operations in October of 2014, while Pando is still under construction due to delays in the excavation of the tunnel.

Morgan & Morgan represented Electron Investment, S.A. with a team including José Carrizo (Picture) Ramón Varela, Mayte Sánchez, Ana Carolina Castillo Solís and Analissa Carles.

Involved fees earner: Analissa Carles – Morgan & Morgan; José Carrizo – Morgan & Morgan; Ana Carolina Castillo – Morgan & Morgan; Mayte Sánchez – Morgan & Morgan; Ramon Varela – Morgan & Morgan;

Law Firms: Morgan & Morgan;

Clients: Electron Investment S.A.;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti.