Port, Neste litigation continues

  • 2003-10-23
  • Baltic Business News
RIGA - Officials at Riga Free Port have notified the arbitration court that they no longer want a claim on the termination of a land-lease agreement with the oil company Neste to be reviewed by the court.

But leaving the claim without a review does not mean that the claimant losses the right to bring it up another time, so Neste cannot be sure that the port has given up its intention to break the agreement. Besides, port authorities are still claiming compensation of 1 million lats (1.5 million euros) from Neste in losses for unpaid port and quay fees.
According to the port, Neste was not complying with its obligations pursuant to the agreement on the minimal amount of oil to be shipped.
However, the case currently at the Riga International Arbitration Court has been postponed for an indefinite period of time, as Neste has demanded that arbitrator Ruta Bulava be dismissed on the basis that the judge is biased.
The previous court sitting on Aug. 25 was postponed as the parties considered settlement. According to the head of the Neste terminal, Arta Jamsena, the company has proposed to pay an annual rental of $400,000 to the port instead of the present $100,000 as well as $1 per each ton of fuel transported.
Riga Free Port management has not reacted to this proposal.
Neste representatives have announced that if the case on canceling the rental agreement and levying 1 million lats were reviewed in the Riga court, then it would turn to the International Court of Arbitration with $22 million worth of claims against Latvia.