ISLAMABAD - The government has allowed ‘controversial’ Turkish company’s Rental Power Project (RPP) Karkey to sail a power vessel to Dubai on temporary basis for necessary repair and maintenance, which has been held up since April 2012 by Pakistan. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has issued No Objection Certificate (NOC) on the recommendation of water and power ministry.
At present, four vessels of Karkey are in Pakistan’s custody from April 2012 following the 30th March 2012 judgment of the Supreme Court (SC). The apex court in its judgment had declared the rental power deals as null and void. Similarly, Sindh High Court (SHC) had issued a stay order against the crossing of Pakistan’s sea limits by Karkey’s vessel. However, the vessel will be free and be able to cross Pakistan’s territory only after the vacation of stay order from the honourable court (SHC). Turkish energy firm Karkey Karadeniz ElektrikUretim had submitted a claim of $345 against Pakistan with ICSID, seeking release of one of its powership named as Kaya Bey. Turkish firm Karkey Karadeniz ElektrikUretim requested the ICSID to allow the release of a power vessel that has been held up since April 2012 by Pakistan.
Official sources at the power ministry privy to development told that a power vessel of the Turkish energy firm Karadeniz Holding’s subsidiary Karkey is set to sail to Pakistan’s territory very soon. They said the NAB has issued NOC to the Karkey after finding a guarantee from the water and power ministry. The power vessel of Karkey will leave to Dubai for necessary repair and maintenance and will return to Pakistan after completion of dry-docking, flag registry and the class certification process, they added.
Earlier, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in its 8th October judgment had allowed the Karkey to sail a power vessel to Dubai for needed dry-docking and flag registry. But the NAB refused to allow the vessel of Karkey to cross the see limits ostensibly due to a decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Following the decision of apex court, the water and power ministry had once again approached the ICSID and re-submitted an application. The ministry preached to the ICSID that Karkey’s power vessel couldn’t cross the se border of Pakistan without paying $128million in the light of a decision of the Pakistan’s top court (SC). The ministry also pleaded to the ICSID to issue an advice to the Karkey energy company to submit a guarantee bond worth $128m with the ministry and take the power vessel to Dubai. And, the guarantee bond would be given back to Karkey when its power vessel would return and would enter the waters of Pakistan after completing required dry-docking and repairing.
The sources also told that ICSID in its second judgment declared that there is no need for the Karkey to submit an additional guarantee bond worth $128m with Pakistan when three power vessels of Karkey Karadeniz ElektrikUretim A.S. (Karkey) in the mean time will remain inside Pakistan’s territory. On finding ICSID judgment, the power ministry had requested the NAB to grant NOC to the Karkey to sail a vessel to Dubai for maintenance purposes.
“The State of Pakistan shall grant all authorisations and clearance required for the vessel’s departure, and shall take any other action necessary or required to allow the vessel to depart lawfully into international waters, the ICSID decision reads. A senior official at power ministry said the vessel is obliged to return to Pakistani waters once the inspection and any necessary repairs are finished and the arrest of other three vessels namely the Karadeniz powerbarge Alican Bey, the Enis Bey (Fuel Tanker) and the Iraq (Barge) remains in force, pursuant to the High Court of Sindh order on May 28, 2013 and Karkey’s bank accounts remain froze, which covers the $128,135,897.
Official sources further told that the power ministry has approached the NAB and requested the bureau to issue NOC to the Karkey in the light of the judgment of ICSID. And, the NAB has now issued its consent to Karkey to cross Pakistan’s water while three out of four vessels of Karkey will remain in Pakistan’s territory. More, Karkey’s vessel will remain in Dubia for 15 to 20 days where its dry-docking and flag registry will be done.
Interestingly, Karkey Karadeniz ElektrikUretim A.S. (Karkey) has not given a guarantee but the government of Pakistan has given her guarantee to the NAB to allow a vessel of Karkey to sail to Dubai, they added.
A spokesman of the NAB when contacted has said that the bureau had issued NOC as per the SC judgment. Earlier, the bureau had sought indemnity for the release of power vessel of Karkey. Upon this, the government has given guarantee to the NAB that the vessel will return to the country after completion of necessary repair and maintenance. He also said that the NAB had allowed the Karkey to leave to Dubai on the basis of governmental guarantee and the responsibility.
It is to note here that the ICSID tribunal in its order on October 16 had dismissed all requests for provisional measures by Karkey except temporary release of Turkish powership Kaya Bey.. The Karkey requested the ICSID tribunal for unconditional release of all four vessels. But, the only compensation the tribunal extended to Karkey was to consider its request that the Kaya Bey powership needed to undergo mandatory dry docking inspection in Dubai otherwise it would lose its classification and flag-registry. And, the tribunal allowed Kaya Bey, which is one of the four Karkey vessels, to temporarily sail to Dubai for the mandatory dry-docking where after it will have to return to Pakistan. While allowing the temporary sail of Kaya Bey, the tribunal emphasised that this is only a temporal suspension and that claimant will have the obligation to return the vessel as soon as it has compiled with the dry docking inspections and controls in Dubai.