Sian Crampsie

US energy company Invenergy has filed a lawsuit in an international arbitration court seeking damages from the Polish government over its treatment of wind farm ventures.

Invenergy claims that the Polish government has violated its rights as an international investor and breached its obligations under the United States-Poland Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Its attempts to seek redress through the Polish legal system have failed and the company has been forced to start arbitration proceedings under the arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Invenergy’s dispute centres around several long-term power purchase agreements that it signed with Polish state-controlled energy firms in 2005. The contracts related to 11 wind farms that it built in Poland between 2005 and 2015 and the firm invested “hundreds of millions of dollars of equity capital” to realize these projects.

However the state-controlled energy companies, which include Tauron and Energa-Obrot, later attempted to nullify the contracts and have disregarded legal rulings ordering them to honour their obligations.

Invenergy issued a notice to the Polish government in October 2017 that it planned to initiate the arbitration proceedings and says that its invitation to negotiate a resolution has been ignored. “The Polish government’s lack of willingness to cooperate and denials of established facts are a major threat to the bedrocks of foreign investment and international law,” said Michael Blazer, Invenergy chief legal officer.