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Monday, 19 February 2018

Did an Egyptian court really order EGPC and EGAS to pay EMG USD 1.03 bn in damages?

Did an Egyptian court really order EGPC and EGAS to pay EMG founder USD 1.03 bn in damages? Israeli newspaper Globes is claiming that a Cairo court ordered state energy companies EGPC and EGAS to pay Israeli businessman Josef Maiman, who co-founded East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) with Hussein Salim, USD 1.03 bn in damages after EMG was forced to halt shipments of gas to Israeli Electric back in 2013. The liquidator for Ampal-American Israel Corporation, the Israeli company which owned a 12% stake in EMG, said: “We now expect other arbitration institutions (ICSID and UNCITRAL) that previously decided in favor of EMG to issue rulings on compensation.” The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had ruled in March 2017 that Egypt’s revocation of the tax exemption status of the EMG project until 2025 — afforded to it under the private free zones system — to be tantamount to expropriation and in breach of the bilateral investment treaty. Globes made sure to note that Maiman had filed the litigation in Egyptian court as a Polish citizen.

Barriers to gas imports from Israel: The reported ruling comes amid a dispute between Cairo and Tel Aviv over a USD 1.76 bn International Chamber of Commerce arbitration award won by Israeli Electric against EGAS, EGPC and EMG. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has said there will be no discussion of importing Israeli gas for liquefaction and export from Egypt until outstanding litigation is settled.

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