London — In January 2010, two Irish businessmen secured a 20-year contract to turn Nigeria's vast gas reserves into power. But the government never built a promised pipeline to feed gas to the processing plant, and their British Virgin Islands-registered company, Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID), never so much as put spade to soil on its planned site in a riverine corner of southeast Nigeria.

P&ID, founded by Michael Quinn and Brendan Cahill, says it hoped to provide gas to generate power for millions in one of the least electrified countries in the world. Instead, a little over two years later, the company began an arbitration action against Nigeria that accused the West African state of a breach of contract. In 2017, a panel of three arbitrators voted 2-1 to award P&ID the full sum of its claim for future profits tied to the original project: a stunning $6.6bn. With interest, the award has ballooned to almost $10bn, or a quarter of the foreign reserves of Africa’s ...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now