Vattenfall Requests Arbitration In Nuclear Dispute With Germany
06/05/2012| 11:28am US/Eastern
By Jan Hromadko
German utility Vattenfall Europe AG said Tuesday it has formally requested the initiation of arbitration proceedings between it and Germany, over damages it says it incurred through the government's decision last year to accelerate the planned nuclear exit.
Vattenfall "has filed a request to the [Washington, D.C.-based] International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, or ICSID, to establish an arbitration court," the company said.
Vattenfall said, however, that the request doesn't equate to a formal lawsuit.
The fully-owned subsidiary of Swedish state-controlled Vattenfall AB has repeatedly said it accepts the political decision to accelerate all nuclear energy generation following the reactor accidents in Japan last year. But like its peers E.ON AG (>> E.ON AG) and RWE AG (>> RWE AG), Vattenfall has said it wants compensation for damages incurred due to the early shut-down of its reactors.
Vattenfall said that its request for arbitration proceedings is now being examined by the ICSID. If found to be according to form, judges for the arbitration proceedings would be picked and, subsequently, would set a deadline by which Vattenfall would have to file a formal lawsuit, a spokeswoman for Vattenfall said.
The nuclear retreat led to the immediate shut-down of eight out of Germany's 17 reactors--two of which are majority-owned by Vattenfall--and triggered billions of euros in extra charges for the utilities, which cut investment and pledged to conserve cash in response.
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