Guaracachi America, Inc. and Rurelec PLC v. The Plurinational State of Bolivia, UNCITRAL, PCA Case No. 2011-17, Procedural Order No. 16 (March 21, 2013)
A. CONFLICT INVOLVING CERTAIN OF CLAIMANTS’ TECHNICAL CONSULTANTS
1. By letter dated 12 December 2012, the Claimants informed the Tribunal that Mercados Energéticos Consultores (“MEC”) had ceased providing technical services to the Claimants’ experts, Compass Lexecon. According to the Claimants, MEC, under Compass Lexecon’s instructions, was responsible for running dispatch simulations that forecasted the spot prices which were used in the Claimants’ expert’s (Mr. Abdala’s) damages model. The Claimants asserted that the reason that the firm withdrew from the present arbitration was that Bolivia, following the submission of the Claimants’ Memorial, pressured the Inter-American Development Bank to exclude MEC from regional integration projects due to its participation in the present arbitration proceedings.1 Finally, the Claimants informed the Tribunal that they had hired a replacement technical consultant to fulfill the role that MEC was forced to abandon and that this work would be incorporated into the materials accompanying the Claimants’ Reply.
2. By letter dated 25 January 2013, the Respondent responded to the Claimants’ allegations regarding MEC. The Respondent denied that any evidence existed to support the Claimants’ assertions, and affirmed that it was false that Bolivia had forced MEC to resign.2 Additionally, the Respondent emphasized that MEC withdrew from the present proceedings precisely after the submission of its Statement of Defense, where Bolivia noted the non-identification of the author of MEC’s dispatch simulations.3 Likewise, the Respondent stated that it was true that MEC had been excluded from a firm selection process for the elaboration of a project financed by the Inter-American Development Bank. However, Bolivia was not responsible for their exclusion. On the contrary, MEC’s exclusion was due to the existence of conflicts of interest between the assignment to be fulfilled by the selected firm and the role that MEC was playing in the present arbitration. The latter meant that MEC did not meet the requirements set out in Inter-American Development Bank policy for the selection and hiring of consultants.4 Finally, Bolivia denied that it had put any kind of pressure on MEC, especially considering that MEC was hired by the Bolivian Comité Nacional de Despacho de Carga (“CNDC”) even after it revealed its participation in the present arbitration.5