Solar Firm Targets Lesotho’s Global Assets Over €50M Redress

Frazer Solar GmbH (‘FSG’), which was awarded €50 million in damages in a final arbitration ruling in South Africa against the Kingdom of Lesotho, this week said it was moving towards enforcement of the order.

An Independent South African arbitrator ruled Lesotho breached a contract in 2018 and awarded cash massive compensation to Frazer Solar.

The contract involved Frazer Solar providing Lesotho with up to 40,000 solar water heating systems, 20MW of solar photovoltaic capacity, 1 million LED lights, and 350,000 solar lanterns nationwide. The project was financed by the German government.

“In October 2018, the project’s progress stalled when GOL’s Ministry of Finance refused to finalise and execute the project’s financial agreements,” said a statement from Frazer Solar.

However, the government of Lesotho has neither engaged in any legal process regarding the matter nor paid damages owing.

Frazer Solar said its actions in the US, where it was targeting assets owned by Lesotho, forms part of a worldwide enforcement strategy.

Lawyers acting for Frazer Solar said they had begun worldwide enforcement action against assets held by the Kingdom of Lesotho.

In 2019, Frazer Solar was forced to take legal action against the government of Lesotho following a series of contractual breaches.

A year later Frazer Solar was awarded substantial damages by an independent South African arbitrator.

“To date, the government of Lesotho has neither engaged with the legal process nor provided FSG with any explanation of the contractual breaches,” said Frazer Solar in a statement.

“Enforcement activity has now commenced in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia as part of a global enforcement strategy which will seize assets held by the Kingdom of Lesotho and obtain payment of the amounts due.”

Commenting on enforcement activity, global counsel for FSG, Hussein Haeri, Partner and Co-Head of International Arbitration, Withers LLP, said: “The government of Lesotho was given an outstanding opportunity to transform access to clean, renewable energy and to eradicate the use of damaging, polluting alternatives nationwide.

“Instead, it prevented the project from proceeding, contravened its legal obligations and left Frazer Solar with no alternative than to bring legal proceedings.’”

Emma Lindsay of Withers Worldwide is representing FSG in the United States.