Union Fenosa Gas SA v Arab Republic of Egypt - United States District Court for the District of Columbia - Civil Action No 2018-2395 - Memorandum Opinion by Judge James E. Boasberg - 4 June 2020
To stay or not to stay; that is the question. Plaintiff Unión Fenosa Gas, S.A. claims that Defendant Arab Republic of Egypt reneged on its obligation to provide natural gas to UFG's liquefaction plant in that country, forcing the plant to close down entirely. An arbitral tribunal assembled under the auspices of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes concluded that Egypt's actions had indeed violated various treaty obligations, and it awarded Plaintiff over $2 billion for the losses it had incurred, one of the largest awards in ICSID's history.
UFG has shifted forums and now seeks this Court's recognition and enforcement of the award. Egypt offers a procedural counter, asking the Court to stay the case until the ICSID rules on its annulment petition there. While the Court is sympathetic to Plaintiff's interest in finally concluding this multi-year dispute, it ultimately finds that the unique considerations of this case warrant imposing a stay here. The Court will therefore grant Egypt's Motion to Stay and deny UFG's Motion for Entry of Default Judgment.