Tag Archives: Guinea

Case of the Day: Getma v. Guinea

The case of the day is In re Certain Controversies Between Getma International and the Republic of Guinea (D.D.C. 2016). Getma had a contract to develop Guinea’s main port in the capital city, Conakry. The agreement called for arbitration of disputes under the CCJA arbitration rules. When a dispute arose, Getma demanded arbitration. The tribunal ultimately awarded Getma significant damages.

During the proceedings, the CCJA had ordered the parties to pay certain arbitration costs in advance. The tribunal asked the CCJA, which was administering the arbitration, to increase the arbitrators’ fees. The CCJA seemed to encourage or at least countenance this request, and the parties indicated they had no objection. But later, the CCJA rejected the tribunal’s effort to increase the fees, citing its prior precedents. Nevertheless, the tribunal’s award included a demand for € 450,000 in arbitrators’ fees, contrary to the CCJA’s decision. “And somehow, the tribunal eventually collected half of the increased arbitrators’ fees from Getma,” the prevailing party.

Guinea sought to annul the award in proceedings before the CCJA, and the CCJA granted its petition on the ground sthat the tribunal had violated the CCJA rules by increasing its fees, which only the CCJA had the authority to do. Getma sought confirmation of the now-annulled award in Washington.
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Case of the Day: Nanko Shipping v. Alcoa

The case of the day is Nanko Shipping USA v. Alcoa, Inc. (D.D.C. 2015). The Republic of Guinea is a major source of bauxite, the world’s main source of aluminum. In the past 50 years, the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, owned by Guinea and by Halco Mining, Inc., has produced more than 600 tons of bauxite for export. The bauxite has been used to produce 150 million tons of aluminum, worth more than $400 billion. Guinea, which had the right to ship half of the bauxite CBG mined under a contract with Halco, had a contract with Nanko Shipping Guinea, under which Nanko would exercise Guinea’s right to ship the bauxite. Nanko and its parent company, Nanko Shipping USA, as well as its principal, Mori Diane, sued Halco and Alcoa, which it claimed was an alter ego of Halco (and, with Rio Tinto, majority owner of Halco), alleging that Nanko was a third-party beneficiary of the contract and that Halco and Alcoa had refused to allow Nanko to ship the bauxite. Alcoa moved to dismiss for failure to join an indispensable party, namely Guinea.
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