Law Firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne

Energy & Natural Resources

Companies active in the energy and natural resources industries are constantly facing environmental challenges,  a changing regulatory framework and a worldwide demand for sustainable energy. Companies are being transformed and are facing strategic problems. (Former) utility companies are often dealing with parallel issues.

In the Caribbean and Surinam, we assist major players in the field of traditional and sustainable energy and other natural resources such as water, mining and lumber. Many state-owned enterprises are long-standing clients.

Our specialized lawyers provide assistance on the complex matters that characterize this sector. For instance, we are involved with energy contracts, strategic forms of cooperation, dispute resolution, ‘power asset’-transactions, financing, environmental law and public sector issues. Furthermore, we are involved in drafting legislation.

Electricity and Drinking Water Act Bes
For instance, we have been actively involved in the implementation of the Electricity and Drinking Water Act BES since 2013. In August 2013, Tom Peeters submitted a consultation reaction in which he identified several bottlenecks regarding the implementation of the legislation. The legislator copied most suggestions and on 22 April 2016 the Act was adopted and published in the Bulletin of Acts and Decrees. The law is expected to come into effect on 1 July 2016.

From the date of commencement, a few things will change. As we aim to enable local businesses to anticipate to these changes, we organized a seminar on the impending changes  and the consequences of the new Act. In addition to the seminar, we collected all legislative texts, relevant explanatory notes and amendments in one document. This document is available here (in Dutch) and will be adjusted based on future new regulation, explanatory notes and if possible case law.


Recently we have assisted:
  • AIB Bank and other lenders in 227 million florins financing of utility company W.E.B. Aruba
  • Alternative energy resources players on legal structures
  • Aqualectra, the Curaçao state-owned utility company, in legal proceedings against the World Trade Center in Curaçao regarding a claim of USD 5.8 mln. due to unregistered consumption.
  • Baker Botts LLP as Suriname counsel for their client Halliburton, with regard to the high profile (attempted) acquisitions of oil field services company Baker Hughes, including advise on employment law and the applicability of CARICOM and/or ILO regulations.
  • CIBC FirstCaribbean in the financing of the expansion of the NuCapital wind park in Curaçao.
  • National Investment Bank in a loan for utility company Elmar in Aruba
  • NuStar Energy in a procedure against St.Eustatius Monument Foundation regarding an oil terminal on St.Eustatius
  • NuStar Energy with the restructuring of their corporate governance.
  • Petrochemical industries and airports on the BES islands regarding environmental permits.
  • Refineria di Korsou (Curaçao Oil Refinery) as part of a government appointed working group that advises on the ‘Future of the Refinery’ program in Curaçao.
  • The Curaçao government in high-profile administrative court proceedings regarding the rates for the return supply of solar energy.
  • The Supervisory Board of an oil distribution company in a dispute with its managing director.
  • Water- and Electricity Company Bonaire in the realization and procurement of the community solar project in Bonaire.
  • Wind park operators in the realization of a wind energy park on Curacao, in the Netherlands and at sea in The Netherlands.
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