Floating Power Plant Operator Sues Pakistan as Ships Stay Idle

Karadeniz Holding AS, the Istanbul-based operator of two ships meant to supply power to energy-starved Karachi, sued Pakistan in a World Bank tribunal, seeking $600 million for an alleged breach of contract.

The floating power stations, which are meant to help meet the city’s 600-megawatt energy shortfall, have been mostly idle because Pakistan has failed to provide them with fuel oil to fire generators, Chief Commercial Officer Nuray Atacik said.

The 220-megawatt Kaya Bey, the 110-megawatt Ali Can Bey and 27 crew members have been held by local authorities in the port city since the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended Karadeniz’s license on March 30, she said yesterday in an embargoed briefing. The company wants its ships back and compensation for an alleged breach of a five-year power supply contract, signed in 2009.

“We are demanding compensation of at least $600 million against our losses in that project,” Atacik said. “We went to the court because our efforts to get a compromise” failed.

The case was registered Feb. 8 at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes and a decision may be made in two to four years, Atacik said. Washington-based law firm Arnold & Porter LLP is representing the company.

Closely held Karadeniz, which also operates power ships in Lebanon and Iraq’s Basra province, plans to expand its fleet to 11 vessels, she said.

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