In a letter addressed to the federal court in New York, Aenergy, which has been the subject of contract termination by the Government, having been arrested by several of its equipment, including four turbines, claims to have evidence that the public company producing electricity (Prodel) took possession of these assets and that they are being transferred to a power plant in Lubango (Huíla province).
The Southern New York court held, on October 30, the first preliminary hearing in the Aenergy case against Angola and General Electric, by telephone, with the defense of the Government, in the voice of lawyer Michael Ehrenstein, claiming that New York it had no jurisdiction over complaints made by Aenergy and that a similar process is taking place in Angola, before the Supreme Court.
In a letter dated 30 November, addressed to Judge John Cronan, to which Lusa had access, Aenergy defenders claim that Prodel "took possession" of the equipment and that the court is competent to hear the dispute.
"The turbines are currently in the possession of Prodel - and not of IGAPE [State Asset and Participation Management Institute] and were not taken to preserve the evidence", say Aenergy lawyers, referring in the letter that the company "heard rumors "that the equipment was being transferred from Prodel's headquarters in Luanda to a power plant in southern Angola.
The rumors were confirmed by a legal representative of Aenergy, who verified the presence of the equipment at Prodel's headquarters in Luanda, as well as through satellite images available through Google Earth.
The Aenergy representative also traveled to Lubango, having found at the Arimba plant, operated by Prodel, components of the turbines that were missing at the power station's headquarters.
"This evidence confirms that, contrary to the claims of Angola before this court, the turbines removed from Aenergy were in possession and physical control of Prodel, not IGAPE, that IGAPE is not a separate entity, and that the turbines were not physically taken to preserve the evidence, "reads the letter, signed by attorney Vincent Levy.
The case that reached the bar of the North American courts concerns 13 contracts signed between Aenergy and the Ministry of Energy and Water (Minea), in 2017, for the construction, expansion, requalification, operation and maintenance of power generation plants in Angola.
This is a civil liability lawsuit brought by Aenergy, by Portuguese businessman Ricardo Leitão Machado, and its subsidiary Combined Cycle Power Plant Soyo SA, against Minea, the Ministry of Finance, the Public Electricity Production Company (Ende) and the National Electricity Distribution Company (Prodel), called "defendants of Angola" and also against three corporations of General Electric (GE), the accuser's former business partner.
In the initial prosecution of Aenergy in the Federal Court of New York, filed on May 7, the "defendants of Angola" are accused of eight crimes, including two of termination of contract, one of illicit enrichment, two of violation of international law (physical and intangible assets) and one for illegal expropriation.
At the first hearing, defense lawyers from Angola, Michael Ehrenstein, and GE, Orin Snyder, tried to demonstrate that the New York court has no jurisdiction over the case, which must be tried in Angola.
Aenergy is asking for monetary compensation of at least $ 550 million and compensation.
Judge John Cronan soon promised a decision on the motion made by the defense of Angola and GE to overturn the case, due to lack of jurisdiction.
However, Aenergy 's lawyer, Vincent Levy, argues in the letter addressed to the judge that the jurisdiction is adequate, regardless of the newly discovered facts, but considered it "advisable" to bring this evidence to the attention of the court, after the rumors were confirmed and before of the deadline given to Angola to respond.
In December 2019, four turbines, parts and consumables of the company were arrested to Aenergy, in the course of a precautionary measure brought by the National Asset Recovery Service of the Attorney General's Office for "signs of breach of contracts".
The approved contracts, between July and August 2017, were intended for the installation of new production plants, technical assistance and maintenance to the electricity production centers with GE brand equipment, as well as the construction of small water supply systems.
During the execution of the contracts, irregularities were verified by AEnergy SA, namely the acquisition of four turbines in the scope of the GE Capital Limitada financing, "without the same being foreseen in the contracts signed with the sector", argues the Government.