Soroof International, the Saudi conglomerate controlled by Prince Bandar Bin Abdullah al-Saud, a powerful member of the kingdom's royal family, is filing a formal complaint again EDF (EDF.PA), the state-run electric utility company of France, Reuters reports.
While the details of the complaint have not yet been made public, the conflict emerged over what Soroof representatives described in a statement as the "faulty execution" of an agreement on the part of EDF to honor its obligations. The two companies have been involved in a joint venture to develop electricity projects. Also of concern is the future of French-Saudi cooperation around nuclear energy development; the beneficiaries of multibillion dollar contracts to European nuclear-reactor vendors could include EDF and its French rival Areva.
Reuters also reports that, while EDF has thus far issued no comment on the matter, French President Francois Hollande and other French government officials are traveling to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to meet with their Saudi counterparts. Soroof has brought their grievances to the International Chamber of Commerce, which will be abitrating the dispute, but declined to give details of their complaint, citing the requirements of the arbitration process.
A former air force pilot, Prince Bandar is widely viewed as one of a new generation of Saudi leaders seeking to expand the country's economy beyond natural resources, and develop technology and business opportunities within the kingdom. Although not part of King Abdullah's closest family members, he is directly related to the monarch through his mother, Reuters reports.
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