The National Contracting Company’s efforts to suspend its 1,350 km transmission line project that would have allowed electricity power export from Cote D’Ivoire to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea ended on Wednesday, December 23 when Civil Law Court ‘A’ upheld the contract.
In his ruling, Judge Peter Gbeneweleh said that the request by the Global Group, one of the contracting companies, to halt the civil foundation works for breach of contract is denied and the resistance to the motion filed by NCC is sustained. “NCC that is the respondent is hereby ordered to proceed with the construction of the project pending the hearing and determination of Global Group, the plaintiff’s preliminary injunction.”
Judge Gbeneweleh further ruled that the complaint for preliminary injunction arises from the lawsuit the ‘Action of Damages for Breach of Contract’ that was filed by the Global Group against the NCC, where they claimed the amount of US$209,762 as special damages constituting the total contract price, which they argued that the NCC had refused to settle.
The lawsuit against the NCC also claimed the amount of US$60,000 as special damages representing the payment for equipment rental, rental of vehicles, sand, crushed rocks, cement, as well as other construction and warehouse materials, and the amount of US$500,000 as general damages for the mental anguish and psychological injuries the inconvenience and embarrassment they have, and the suffering at the instance of the NCC and the Liberian National Police (LNP).
Further to the suit, the Global Group had argued that on August 31, 2020, they entered into a contractual agreement with the NCC for the civil foundation works of Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea’s interconnection project of 225kv overhead transmission line Lot2: which they asked the court to halt any future work pending the outcome of their suit for breach of contract.
Before Judge Gbeneweleh’s decision, Global Group as part of their case filed an Indemnity Bond in the amount of US$500,000 on August 31, 2020, which said bond was approved by the court and a temporary restraining order against the NCC operation issued that prohibited the construction project.
Later, NCC filed its resistance asking the court to vacate the restraining order with a indemnity Bond in the amount of aUS$600,000. Further in the court ruling, Gbeneweleh said “The court notes from the record in the case that the NCC paid the fine of US$600,000 upon the bill of information filed before the court on September 18, 2020 for violation of the temporary restraining order issued on August 31.”
Gbeneweleh also ruled that the temporary restraining order that was issued on August 31 which halted further construction of the project elasped after ten days of its issuance and service, explaining that “The records before the court are devoid of any extension of the temporary restraining order which further enjoined the NCC from further Construction of the project.”
The interconnector aims to provide these countries with an increased supply of electricity to meet growing demand and to create incentive for hydropower potential, such as in Sierra Leone and Guinea, to be realised. Approximately 12.5% of the total Project cost will finance rural electrification, with an ITF Direct Grant Operation to cover the extra costs of implementing this in Sierra Leone.
The requested TA for the first phase of the work of the Owner’s Engineer (OE) – project preparation – is closed. This technical assistance started in September 2014 and was extended in 2015 in view of delay caused notably by the increase in the number of lots and by the time needed for the review of the bidding documents by various donors.