1. On July 20, 2007, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID” or the “Centre”) received a Request for Arbitration (“the Request”) dated July 6, 2007, presented in the Spanish language (“Solicitud de Arbitraje”) and submitted by URBASER S.A. AND CONSORCIO DE AGUAS BILBAO BIZKAIA, BILBAO BISKAIA UR PARTZUERGOA (“Claimants”, respectively “URBASER” and “CABB”) against the ARGENTINE REPUBLIC (“Argentina” or “Respondent”). The Claimants submitted the Request pursuant to Article X of the Agreement on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments between the Argentine Republic and the Kingdom of Spain signed on October 3, 19911 (“Argentina-Spain BIT” or “the BIT”).
2. On October 1, 2007, the Acting Secretary–General of ICSID registered the Request and notified the Parties of its registration.
3. Claimants and Respondent (the “Parties”) agreed to waive the nationality requirement as provided in Article 39 of the ICSID Convention (the “Convention”). Respondent selected the formula provided for in Article 37(2)(b) of the Convention regarding the constitution of the Tribunal. Claimants agreed to this choice, subject to the provisions of Article 38 of the Convention.
4. On December 18, 2007, Claimants appointed a national of Spain as arbitrator and proposed the designation of another arbitrator as president of the Tribunal. Respondent rejected the latter proposal on December 28, 2007, and suggested another candidate to become president. Claimant objected to this new proposal on January 3, 2008. On February 15, 2008, Respondent appointed an arbitrator of Argentine nationality and advanced a new proposal for president of the Tribunal. Because both arbitrators proposed by the Parties shared the nationality of Claimants and Respondent, respectively, pursuant to Article 39 of the Convention the agreement of all parties was required to confirm these appointments. On June 18, 2008, Claimants rejected both proposals that Respondent had raised.