ABIDJAN Oct 4 Africa-focused power producer
Endeavor Energy on Tuesday accused Starenergie, its partner in
an energy project in Ivory Coast, of violating the deal by
choosing a Chinese firm to build the plant, and warned it would
Endeavor and Starenergie signed a joint development
agreement (JDA) in 2015 to build the 372 MW Songon power station
outside Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan and furnish it
with liquid natural gas (LNG).
Starenergie, however, then independently signed a contract
with China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC) on Aug. 20 this
year to build the power plant. Under the agreement, CEEC will
raise 75 percent of the 500 million euro ($558 million) cost of
the facility via China Construction Bank.
"Endeavor is disappointed by Starenergie's actions, which
are inconsistent with both our JDA agreement and international
best practices," Endeavor said in a statement.
"Endeavor is fully committed to enforcing its rights under
the JDA and will seek redress against Starenergie and anyone
tortiously interfering with its contractual rights."
Starenergie CEO Richard Amon rejected Endeavor's criticisms,
saying his company had informed Houston-based Endeavor in
January that it believed the U.S. company had failed to meet its
obligations under the JDA and that Starenergie was terminating
their joint agreement.
"I've done everything I could to work with Endeavor," Amon
told Reuters. "We sent a letter terminating the JDA."
Starenergie had since attempted to work out its issues with
Endeavor to negotiate a new partnership agreement and the two
companies were in contact during the tendering process for the
power plant, he said.
Endeavor said in March that it hoped to secure financing for
the project, which would also include a terminal to import LNG,
by the end of 2016.
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower and
French-speaking West Africa's largest economy, has emerged as
one of Africa's rising stars after a decade of political
Demand for electricity is increasing by 10 percent annually,
and the energy minister said last year that $20 billion in power
investment would be needed over the next 15 years.
($1 = 0.8958 euros)
(Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Tim Cocks and Susan