Petronas calls for arbitration of World Bank ICSID unit over Sudanese land and land dispute

KUALA LUMPUR (October 7): Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) said on Thursday that its rights to the land and the Petronas complex in Khartoum, Sudan had been obtained in accordance with applicable lawful laws.

Petronas added that it has filed an arbitration request with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on this matter. ICSID is a unit of the World Bank Group.

Petronas said in a statement on Thursday that the company was working jointly with the Malaysian Foreign Ministry to exercise all diplomatic channels with Sudanese authorities to resolve the issue amicably.

“As there has been no positive development so far, Petronas has filed a request for arbitration with ICSID on the matter.

“As the legal process has started, Petronas is unable to provide more information on this matter,” Petronas said.

Petronas ‘statement was in response to reporters’ email request for confirmation on the land and real estate dispute in Sudan and their questions about how Petronas is responding to allegations in reports that the assets were acquired by means illegal during the reign of ousted President President Omar al-Bashir.

The Sabah daily, citing sources, reported on October 5 that Petronas strongly opposed the decision of the Sudanese transitional government to confiscate the company’s assets in that African country over allegations that the assets were acquired by illegal means during the reign of al-Bashir.

It was reported that the land where the Petronas complex is currently located has been acquired and registered under Nada Properties Co Ltd (NPCL), a subsidiary of Petronas in Sudan.

According to the report, the sources pointed out that Sudan transferred the ownership of NPCL to the Sudanese Ministry of Finance and “deprived Petronas of its rightful ownership of the company”.

It was reported that following the overthrow of al-Bashir, the Sudanese transitional government passed a law and formed the Committee to End Empowerment, Fight Corruption and Take Money. tasked with reviewing agreements and recovering assets allegedly acquired through illegal means during the previous administration. .

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