Spanish Group Demands From Algeria 200 Million Euros In Financial Compensation
A Spanish group for construction and public works has filed an international arbitration case against Algeria, demanding financial compensation estimated at 200 million euros (3200 billion centimes), for railway projects that it has completed in the far-eastern province of Annaba.
In the details, the Spanish newspaper “El Espanyol” reported, citing sources in the “OHLA-OHLA / Obrascón Huarte Lain Amodio” complex, formerly called “OHL”, specialized in construction and public works, that its administration has filed several international arbitration cases in several countries, including Algeria, Qatar, Kuwait and Chile, demanding compensation in excess of 1.2 billion euros.
With regard to Algeria, the same source mentioned that the matter is related to the National Agency for Studies and Follow-up of Railway Investments known as “ANESRIF”, explaining that the Spanish party filed an international arbitration case against the Algerian General Agency and demanded financial compensation estimated at 200 million euros, equivalent to 3200 billion centimes at the official exchange rate. .
The newspaper pointed out that the “OHLA” complex had received a proposal from the National Agency for Studies and Follow-up of Investments in Railways “ANESRIF” estimated at 59.6 million euros.
This international arbitration case is related to the National Agency for Studies and Follow-up of Railway Investments, on a railway line in Annaba province, without the source who reported the news providing additional details about the project in question.
In our contact with the Directorate of Communications of the National Agency for Studies and Follow-up of Investments, the response was that the case actually exists at the level of the International Arbitration Chamber in Paris, and it clarified that it had submitted a complete file supporting its position in this case.
According to information and details possessed by “Echorouk”, the project relates to the northern railway line “Annaba – Ramadan Jamal in the wilaya or province of Skikda”, which was launched in 2006, before the establishment of the Agency for Studies and Follow-up of Railway Investments.
According to sources related to the file, the Spanish compound delayed the completion of the project a lot and was given several excuses by the agency, but it did not finish the works as stipulated in the book of conditions, and its financial accounts were subsequently frozen in the framework of an international arbitration case against Sonatrach (the International Center for Conventions case in Oran).
After the Spanish assembly returned to the Annaba railway project, Ramadan Jamal asked to update and review prices, which the Algerian party rejected altogether and in detail, and then resorted to the International Arbitration Chamber in Paris.
Months ago, Spanish billionaire Juan Miguel Villar Mer, owner of OHL, announced that he would resort to international arbitration against Sonatrach, demanding it to comply with an agreement to purchase 49 percent of Fertial’s stake in fertilizers owned by the Spanish party, according to what he said. An agreement was reached in March 2019 with Sonatrach, according to which the National Hydrocarbons Company would buy the Spanish party’s share estimated at 34 percent, in addition to the share of imprisoned businessman Ali Haddad, estimated at 17 percent, and this is in favor of the “Asmidal” company owned by Sonatrach.
The same complex fought an international arbitration against Sonatrach in the case of the International Center for Conventions in Oran (western Algeria) in 2013, and then demanded financial compensation of up to 263 million dollars.