RInfra subsidiary ‘Delhi Airport Metro Express Ltd’, wins arbitration case against DMRC

NEW DELHI: Delhi Airport Metro Express (DAMEPL), a Reliance-ADAG Group firm, has won an arbitration case against Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) with the tribunal awarding it a compensation of Rs 2,950 crore. The arbitration tribunal, constituted from a panel nominated by DMRC, has given its award after hearing the case for almost four years.

The group’s flagship firm, Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), said in an official statement that the proceeds of the award would be used for paying off the debt of Rs 1,900 crore to lenders. As many as eight public sector banks (PSBs) would benefit from it as their loans would be repaid.

Reliance Infrastructure would get the remaining Rs 1,050 crore invested in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the airport express line. RInfra had pulled out of its public-private partnership (PPP) with DMRC for the 22.7-kilometre airport metro line in Delhi, terming the Rs 5,700-crore project commercially unviable.

The two parties had agreed to run it for 30 years. DMRC has since taken over the line that connects the New Delhi Railway Station to the T3 terminal of the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

“The award to RInfra has been granted on the basis of termination provisions of the concession agreement where the arbitration tribunal has held termination by DAMEPL as valid,” the company said.

“We are studying the award given by the arbitrators in the airport express line case and will decide our further course of action in the matter after due deliberation,” A DMRC spokesperson said.

As per the latest guidelines approved by the cabinet committee on economic affairs, RInfra would get 75 per cent of the compensation award immediately against bank guarantee even if the PSU proposes to challenge the award. “Therefore, RInfra is expected to get Rs 2,210 crore as per guidelines against bank guarantee in case DMRC proposes to challenge the award,” RInfra said.

The award given by the arbitration panel covers damage as a result of breach by DMRC of its obligations under the concession agreement and material adverse effect on the ability of DAMEPL to perform its obligations under the concession pact.