Berkeley asks ICSID for arbitration in $1bn claim against Spain for not being able to exploit its uranium mine in Salamanca


Berkeley Energia, the company that is trying to move forward with a uranium extraction project in Salamanca, has filed a request for international arbitration against the Spanish government with the ICSID, which depends on the World Bank, in which it demands compensation of $1 billion (around €920 million at the current exchange rate) for blocking its plans. It could become the largest arbitration against Spain.

According to Berkeley, the decisions of the Spanish government, which has blocked the permits for the project, “have violated multiple provisions” and in particular the so-called Energy Charter, a European-level investment protection treaty.

Berkeley has been warning for months that it would launch an arbitration against the Kingdom of Spain for paralysing a project in which it has invested several hundred million euros. In November 2022, Berkeley submitted a written notice of its claims to the Spanish Prime Minister and the Ministry for Ecological Transition.

To date, according to Berkeley, the Spanish government has not engaged in any discussions related to the conflict.

Berkeley has always said that the group is willing to reach an amicable agreement, but if this is not achieved, it will continue to demand the continuity of its project in Retortillo, in the province of Salamanca, or a large compensation through litigation.

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