UK Court Clears NNPC in 10-year Dispute over $310m Contract

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The UK Commercial Court in London has ruled in favour of the NNPC in a suit filed by IPCO Nigeria, a subsidiary of the IPCO Group, according to a statement.

The statement issued in Abuja by Dr Farouk Ibrahim, NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, said the case had been on for over a decade.

It said the IPCO Group, a turnkey contractor and investor in energy infrastructure projects, had been involved in a dispute with the corporation over a contract.

“The contract is to build an oil terminal in Port Harcourt, and the case had initially arisen from a dispute following IPCO’s claim that NNPC should bear the cost of variations.

“The cost of variations were alterations to the scope of works in the original construction contract, which caused a 22-month delay to the works.

“Following arbitration proceedings in Nigeria, IPCO was awarded $150 million (about N24.7 billion) in 2004, together with annual interests running at 14 per cent, a ruling which was challenged by NNPC in the Nigerian courts,’’ the statement said.

It said however that IPCO had since then repeatedly sought to enforce the award in the UK, before the conclusion of the proceedings in Nigeria.

The statement said that as a result of this the parties agreed in 2009 to adjourn the enforcement proceedings and await the outcome of the challenge in Nigeria.

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