Filing of Appeal
2nd September 2023
NiQuan Energy LLC, a US clean energy company, through its subsidiary NiQuan Energy Trinidad Limited on 29thAugust 2023 filed a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Appeal in Trinidad seeking to reverse the decision of the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago to deny its request for interim mandatory and prohibitory injunctions and declaratory relief to compel Trinidad and Tobago Upstream Downstream Energy Operations Company Limited (“UD”) to fulfill its contractual obligation to supply gas to NiQuan’s clean energy GTL production facility, in accordance with the terms of the Gas Sales Contract with UD.
Previously NiQuan filed for interim injunctive and declaratory reliefs, asking the court to grant the interim relief to, amongst other things, “protect the sanctity of the contract” requiring the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (“GORTT”) to provide NiQuan with the required supply of natural gas. The contract requires the government to supply gas to NiQuan in order to maintain production at the GTL clean energy facility. Contract terms specify the gas will be supplied on a guaranteed basis not subject to availability of gas or curtailment, and from sources other than the National Gas Company (“NGC”),
The lawsuit also named the Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago as a respondent on behalf of the Ministry of Energy, which originally devised the concept of the government supplying gas to the project from sources other than the NGC and which arrangements were approved by the Cabinet. UD was created purposely by GORTT to enter into the Gas Supply Contract (“GSC”) with NiQuan and the GORTT is therefore included in the legal proceedings.
If the parties fail to resolve the matter amicably then, whether or not the interim injunctive and declaratory reliefs are granted following the Appeal hearing, the matter may ultimately be referred to ICC Arbitration as prescribed under the GSC. Further, NiQuan has engaged Baker & McKenzie LLP in London and New York and leading commercial King’s Counsel, Mr. Stuart Isaacs KC of Wilberforce Chambers to initiate the mediation process and also, if no resolution can be agreed, to have oversight of all parallel legal and international remedies pursued against UD and the GORTT.
NiQuan has successfully completed and operated the world’s first commercial small-scale GTL Plant, which has been producing clean, biodegradable, near-zero sulphur products since 2022. The technology and approach pioneered by NiQuan is aligned with US energy and COP 28 policies seeking innovative approaches to clean energy.
Today the NiQuan plant is fully operational. Since achieving first on-spec product in September 2022, the limited availability of gas has impeded it from running at its nameplate capacity of 2400 barrels per day. Despite the severe curtailment of gas for long periods, NiQuan has been able to produce over 15,000 barrels of products and transferred same to its Offtaker. NiQuan is awaiting resumption of the supply of gas from UD as required by the GSC.
In June 2018, the GORTT Cabinet agreed to provide the supply of gas to NiQuan on a guaranteed basis. Trinidad and Tobago has a proud history of being an oil & gas economy and sanctity of contract has been paramount to this success. Without sanctity of contract, nothing works. Trinidad and Tobago is also a signatory to the Paris Accords for climate change.
We stand by our commitment to security and longevity of commercial operations in Trinidad and Tobago.