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Chinese Company Sues Former Owner of Blocked Wind Project

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Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese-owned Ralls Corp., blocked by President Barack Obama from buying an Oregon wind-farm project, sued a company that owned the properties, according to a document filed in federal court in Washington.

Ralls said it is bringing a lawsuit against a U.S. unit of Athens-based Terna Energy SA, and asked for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in connection with the suit, according to a one-paragraph letter from Ralls’s attorney, Viet Dinh, to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. The judge is overseeing Ralls’s lawsuit against the U.S. seeking to overturn Obama’s decision.

The Ralls complaint against Terna wasn’t available from the court’s electronic records and its letter offered no information about the case it filed or the purpose of the requested injunction.

Tim Xia, an attorney for Ralls, declined to comment on the lawsuit. A person who answered the phone at Terna’s offices in Athens after regular business hours said no one was available for comment.

In the earlier case, Ralls accused Obama and other U.S. officials of violating its constitutional rights by blocking the wind-farm sale on national security grounds.

Wind-Farm Project

Terna sold its interest in the wind-farm project in March 2012 to Intelligent Wind Energy LLC, a unit of U.S. Innovative Renewable Energy LLC, an American-owned company, according to court filings by Ralls. U.S. Innovative Renewable Energy then sold Intelligent Wind Energy to Ralls, according to court papers.

Obama on Sept. 28 blocked Ralls from developing the project, which is near a U.S. Navy base, citing national security risks. His action made permanent an interim order by the government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS, which reviews acquisitions of domestic companies by non-U.S. entities.

Ralls is owned by executives of China-based Sany Group Co., which was seeking to place Sany-made wind turbines at the Oregon installations.

Ralls sued the government on Sept. 12 and added Obama as a defendant on Oct. 1.

Justice Department lawyers asked Jackson to throw out the case on Oct. 29. She has yet to rule on the request.

The case referred to in the letter is Ralls Corp. v. Terna Energy USA Holding Corp. 13-117, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington). The earlier case is Ralls Corp. v. Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., 1:12-cv-01513, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at azajac@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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