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Berkeley Energia initiates $1 billion arbitration against Spain over Retortillo uranium project dispute

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Berkeley Energia, facing setbacks with its Retortillo uranium project in Spain, has escalated its dispute by initiating arbitration proceedings under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). Seeking $1 billion in damages, the company’s subsidiary, Berkeley Exploration Limited (BEL), filed a Request for Arbitration at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

The controversy revolves around Spain’s denial of final approval for the Retortillo project, despite initial clearance in 2013. Rejected twice, in 2021 and 2023, by Spain’s Energy Ministry, Berkeley alleges breaches of ECT provisions by the Spanish government. Attempts at negotiation have reportedly been unfruitful, prompting BEL to pursue legal action to resolve the impasse.

While committed to the Salamanca project, Berkeley emphasizes its willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with Spanish authorities to seek a mutually agreeable resolution on permitting issues, expressing hope for future discussions.

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