DP World has claimed that Djibouti’s government has illegally seized control of Doraleh Container Terminal.
According to a statement from the terminal operator, the seizure is “the culmination of the government’s campaign to force DP World to renegotiate the terms of the concession”.
Those terms were found to be “fair and reasonable” by a London Court of International Arbitration tribunal led by Lord Leonard Hoffman and Sir Richard Aikens, added the Dubai-based company.
DP World has commenced arbitration proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration to protect their rights, or to secure damages and compensation for their breach or expropriation.
An entity owned by DP World designed, built and, since 2006, operated the terminal pursuant to a concession awarded by the government in 2006.
Since December 2017, the Djibouti government has sought to enforce the law against the concession contract.
This effort culminated in a final demand that the contract be renegotiated by February 21, 2018, and the termination of that contract by Presidential Decree on February 22, 2018 and expropriation of all of the assets of Doraleh Container Terminal.
In a statement, DP World commented: “We consider the law, the attempt of the government to enforce its terms, the purported termination and expropriation to be in breach of the government’s obligations under its agreements with us, in force since 2004, and international law.
“Moreover, the government’s conduct is particularly oppressive and cynical. The government only recently failed in its attempts to unravel the contracts by alleging the contracts were corrupt both before the High Court of England & Wales and before an arbitral Tribunal in London (comprising Sir Richard Aikens, Peter Leaver QC, Lord Hoffman), which dismissed the Government’s allegations that the contracts were unfair in their entirety.
“To protect our interests, we have been compelled to commence a new arbitration on February 20 2018 against the [Djibouti] government in London, seeking a declaration that the contracts are valid and binding on the government and to obtain urgent interim relief.”