June 30, 2017
An Accra High Court has dismissed a stay application by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the OPEC Fund to have a suit brought against them by Quantum Oil moved to London for arbitration.
The court which hears commercial cases held the view that the suit could continue to be heard here in Ghana without any issues.
The judge, Justice Samuel Asiedu further awarded a cost of GH₵12,000 against IFC and OPEC Fund to be paid to Quantum Oil.
IFC, in their stay application, sought to put on hold to the hearing of the case against them and move it to the London Court of International Arbitration for a settlement.
According to them, the arbitration process was a clause in the governing loan agreement between the parties. But the court disagreed.
The local Ghanaian company Quantum is demanding $41,319,123 in total damages from the two international bodies for allegedly failing to provide it with a $16-million loan facility which was agreed among the three entities.
The said loan was to be used by Quantum to construct a petroleum storage facility in Tema in 2012 to help it meet a National Petroleum Authority (NPA) regulation that required bulk oil distribution companies to construct their own storage facilities.
Before then, Quantum was storing its products in facilities at the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited, which served notice to Quantum that it could not continue to store its products there from 2014, in line with the NPA directive.
According to Quantum, the amount includes fees and charges paid directly paid to IFC and OPEC Fund, fees and charges paid to various consultants at the direction of IFC and OPEC Fund and statutory fees paid by plaintiff to create charges for the benefit of IFC and OPEC Fund.
Quantum Oil said rather than assisting it to develop and grow its business, IFC and OPEC Fund rather worsened and reduced Quantum Oil’s business fortunes and prospects and in the process rendered Quantum Oil poorer than before.
According to Quantum Oil, unless otherwise compelled to do so by orders of the court, IFC and OPEC Fund will simply not take responsibility for the colossal damages they have willfully caused to Quantum Oil.
Quantum Limited is, therefore, asking the High Court to order the IFC and the OPEC Fund to disburse the loan, taking into consideration inflation rates within the period It also wants general damages totalling $41,319,123 to compensate it for the escalation in the cost of the project, fees and charges that it paid directly to the two bodies, various consultancy fees, lost business revenue, among other demands.
It also wants punitive damages to compensate it for alleged discrimination by the two international bodies and damage to its business reputation.