Ninth Court will review arbitration award favoring Port of Port Arthur

David Yates Oct. 20, 2010, 4:20am

Justices seated on the Ninth Court of Appeals will soon entertain arguments requested by Sabine Syngas over an arbitration award favoring the Port of Port Arthur Navigation District of Jefferson County.

The Port filed suit against Sabine Syngas in November 2006, alleging the energy entity refused to reimburse it for expenditures on a joint power plant project.

Court papers show the two entities entered into a contract for the development of a gasification and electric generation facility. By the terms of the agreement, Sabine agreed it would reimburse the Port for reasonable fees including legal counsel and technical advisors.

"Despite repeated requests for payment, Sabine has refused ... to reimburse the Port for expenses," the suit states. "At this time, the amount still due and owing by Sabine totals at least $49,429.10."

Shortly after the suit was filed, Sabine counter sued, and the Goldman Sachs Group and Process Energy Solutions were added to the litigation as third party defendants, court papers say.

A year later, the case went into arbitration and on April 24, 2009, Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, granted a motion to confirm an arbitration award filed by the Port and third party defendants.

On Dec. 3, 2008, an arbitrator issued an award ordering Sabine to pay the Port $72,072.54 in contract damages and attorney's fees, plus an additional $1,675 for the costs of arbitration, court papers say.

Sabine filed an appeal in July 2009, arguing Judge Sanderson erred in affirming the award.

Ninth Court justices denied Sabine's request for oral arguments but the case has been set for briefs on Oct. 25.

The Port is represented by Beaumont attorney Scot Sheldon of the Sheldon, Jordan & Dunham law firm.

Sabine is represented in part by Beaumont attorney Brent Coon.

Trial case No. B178-017
Appeals case No. 09-09-00331-CV

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