12 Apr 2023 15:33

Fortum files arbitration claim against Vestas in Sweden for more than 200 mln euros over wind projects in Russia

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) - Finnish company Fortum Oy has initiated arbitration in Sweden against Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems A/S, filing an arbitration claim for more than 200 million euros relating to the termination by Vestas of Russian wind project contracts, Vestas said in a statement.

Vestas said sanctions and export controls issued in 2022 prevented it from delivering, installing and servicing wind turbines in accordance with its contracts. Vestas invoked a clause in each contract which enabled it to terminate the contracts if performance was impacted by international sanctions.

Vestas said it had terminated the contracts in late June 2022 following months of negotiation between the parties in an effort to find an agreement.

Henrik Andersen, President and CEO of Vestas, expressed astonishment that a state-owned company from another EU country would "openly question the sanctions against Russia and thereby the unity of EU countries."

He said member states and companies were aware from the outset that the sanctions would have financial consequences, also outside of Russia.

"We have approached political stakeholders to find a sensible resolution to the matter," Andersen said.

The company said Fortum entities were the sole customers of Vestas in Russia.

Vestas, one of the biggest foreign manufacturers of equipment for wind farms, worked on wind projects with Fortum in Russia.

Vestas decided to exit Russia last year, after which Vestas Manufacturing Rus planned to mothball the turbine blade plant in Ulyanovsk that had operated since December 2018.

PJSC Fortum , the Finnish company's Russian division, abandoned part of its portfolio of renewable energy projects at the end of last year, saying it was unsustainable in current conditions. The company then said no investments had been made in these projects, and did not rule out its participation in subsequent renewable energy capacity tenders.

It emerged at the end of March that Russia's state-owned Rosatom planned to manufacture turbine blades for wind farms at the former Vestas site in the Ulyanovsk Region.