Ver Angola

Environment

Aenergy takes action against General Electric and the Angolan Government

Aenergy, an electricity company led by the Portuguese Ricardo Machado, filed a lawsuit against General Eletric and the Angolan government on May 7 in the New York Federal Court, claiming compensation for termination of contracts.

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The civil liability action, which targets General Electric Company, GE Capital, the Government of the Republic of Angola, the Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA), the Ministry of Finance, the Public Company of Electricity Production (Prodel) and the National Company of Electricity Distribution (ENDE), aims to pay compensation for the losses and damages caused, following the termination of contracts with Aenergy, according to the documents to which Lusa had access this Monday.

Aenergy has been involved in a dispute with Angola since the Angolan executive last year terminated several contracts with the company alleging breach of trust due to alleged irregularities, accusations that the company rejects, ensuring that it alerted the Ministry of Energy and Water and executed several projects without receiving payment.

In December 2019, the Angolan Attorney General's Office announced that it had filed a precautionary order against Aenergy for "indications of breaches" of contracts and seized four electric turbines allegedly "acquired with public funds without the knowledge of the Ministry of Energy and Water.

For its part, the company accused the Angolan state of "illegal and unfounded expropriation" of the turbines and other equipment, a decision it is challenging in the Luanda court.

In a statement to Lusa, Ricardo Machado said that "Aenergy is being the target of a defamatory campaign aimed at destroying its image, reputation and activity, causing serious damage and the extinction of hundreds of qualified jobs at the company in Angola.

He also mentioned that Aenergy has been trying to enforce its rights in all jurisdictions.

In November 2019, "after the Angolan Government rejected all of Aenergy's administrative appeals and ignored all the evidence produced so far," the company filed a "Judicial Assistance" case in the New York Federal Court against General Electric to obtain additional evidence on the acquisition of the four turbines and GE Capital's financing to the Angolan Government.

General Electric was meanwhile summoned by the court to hand over all documents to Aenergy so that the company "had, for the first time, access to dozens of documents and information, having already sent 32 documents to the Supreme Court of Angola, as part of the appeal against the termination of the contracts by MINEA, filed by Aenergy in January 2020," said Ricardo Machado.

According to the businessman, these documents, which we consider essential to the discovery of the truth, are also already known to the Attorney General's Office of Angola.

The Aenergy official also stated that "although all the documents and additional evidence were handed over to the Supreme Court and the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Angola, as of today Aenergy has not even had access to the number of the case filed in the Supreme Court".

"We have been accused of misappropriating state money without performing any service, but in reality we have already demonstrated the opposite and that, since 2014, Aenergy has been a creditor, until the date of termination of contracts, of a net debt in excess of 250 million dollars, says Ricardo Machado.

Aenergy claims to have alerted MINEA to possible irregularities that should be investigated, in December 2018, and filed a criminal complaint with the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Angola, but "in both cases, there was never any response.

According to Ricardo Machado, MINEA preferred "to ignore criminal facts, trying to subjugate and strangle Aenergy financially" and to force the cession of its contractual position to General Electric, but "when it realized that such a cession would not be accepted, it misled the President of the Republic", asking to unilaterally terminate the thirteen contracts with Aenergy in August 2019.