Enron Nigeria Power Holding, Ltd. v. Federal Republic of Nigeria, No. 1:13-cv-01106 (Apr. 7, 2017 D.D.C.) [click for opinion]

Plaintiff Enron Nigeria Power Holding Ltd. ("ENPH") obtained an arbitral award of $11.2 million on its claim that Defendant Federal Republic of Nigeria ("Nigeria") breached the terms of their December 6, 1999 Power Purchase Agreement (the "Original PPA"). The award consisted of damages plus simple interest at a rate of 2% above the U.S. prime, as well as attorney's fees, costs, expenses, and fees in connection with arbitration. After Nigeria refused to pay, ENPH petitioned to confirm the arbitration award. The district court confirmed the award, and Nigeria filed a timely appeal. The court of appeals affirmed the district court's order.

Subsequently, the district court entered judgment for ENPH that confirmed the arbitral award and accounted for changes in interest and exchange rates from the date of the award to the entry of judgment. Absent any contractual provision governing the interest rate in the event of a breach, the district court awarded prejudgment interest at a simple interest rate of 6% per annum. In its calculation, the court took into account exchange rate fluctuations between the British pound and the U.S. dollar, as well as changes to the prime rate. To address the depreciation of the pound by more than 22% since the date of the arbitral award, the district court used the breach day rule to determine the exchange rate. This method enabled ENPH to receive the value of the arbitral award at the time it was issued, instead of the significantly diminished value caused by Nigeria's delay in the entry of final judgment. Further, the court awarded post judgment interest at the default federal rate under 28 U.S.C. § 1961.

Finally, the district court noted that, pursuant to the terms of the Original PPA, ENPH may separately move for attorney's fees and related expenses incurred due to its petition to confirm the arbitral award. The PPA provides that "[a]ny costs, fees, or taxes incident to enforcing the award shall be charged against the Party resisting enforcement." ENPH was given 14 days from the entry of the court's judgment to file the motion for these disbursements, with the court noting that such award, if granted, would incur interest under the applicable rate set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1961.