Ramba Energy unit in arbitration with former JV partner over Indonesian project

SINGAPORE- Mainboard-listed Ramba Energy said on Thursday that a former joint venture partner, Super Power Enterprises Group (SPE), has begun arbitration proceedings in Singapore against Ramba subsidiary, PT Hexindo Gemilang Jaya, over a project in Lemang, Indonesia.

Ramba owns 80.4 per cent of Hexindo, an Indonesian company through which it carried out its oil-and-gas exploration activities allowed under a joint operating agreement with SPE in October 2009. Under this agreement, Hexindo held a 51 per cent participating interest in the Lemang production sharing contract, with SPE holding the remainder.

Ramba said SPE had its participating interest in the contract forfeited by the Indonesian government more than three years ago, resulting in its eventual substitution by a third party, Eastwin Global Investments, as owner of SPE's 49 per cent participating interest in the contract.

SPE is now seeking to determine that the forfeiture of its participating interest and the subsequent substitution with Eastwin were, and continue to be, unlawful. It is also seeking damages.

Ramba said with the Indonesian government approving the substitution by Eastwin as the new owner of the participating interest on Aug 26, 2011, Hexindo and Eastwin subsequently signed a new joint operating agreement in December that year. Under that agreement, Eastwin assumed all rights and liabilities of SPE.

Ramba said that, as such, its board "sees no merit in SPE's claims and Hexindo will vigorously defend its rights against SPE in the latter's claim against the forfeiture of the Lemang interest."