Aura Energy has long been exploring in Sweden and mainly Jämtland County. Already in 2006, the company obtained the first exploration permit in Berg's municipality. Here they have prospected for, among other things, uranium in mainly six different areas west of Myrviken.

Aura Energy demands compensation for exploration done in six areas in Bergs and Åre municipalities, west of Myrviken Photo: SVT Design

Last year, 2018, the Swedish Parliament decided to ban both exploration and mining of uranium. This has led Aura Energy to claim the Swedish state $ 1.8 billion in compensation, according to the Energy Charter Treaty.

The Energy Charter Treaty is a multilateral investment protection agreement, explains Kaj Hobér, professor of international investment and commercial law at Uppsala University.

- It gives investors from countries that have signed the agreement protection under certain conditions against various government measures that could be negative for an investment.

Kaj Hobér, professor of international investment and commercial law at Uppsala University.

Unique case in Sweden

The amount demanded by Aura Energy is partly based on what the company considers to have invested in exploration and partly on what it considers to have lost in future income. The case is unique in the country.

- This is the first time that Sweden is required to receive compensation under the Energy Charter Treaty, says Kaj Hobér.

Vattenfall is entitled to Germany

Disputes of this kind are uncommon but occur. In 2012, Swedish Vattenfall sued the German state under the Energy Charter Treaty. Vattenfall then demanded SEK 30 billion in compensation from Germany for deciding to discontinue nuclear power, in which Vattenfall has interests. The then Finance Minister Peter Norman thought the amount was reasonable. The lawsuit between Vattenfall and Germany is still underway in a US court.

The government does not want to comment

No one from either the government or the government office wants to comment on the demands of Aura Energy. The lawsuit came to the government office earlier this week, and you are investigating how to comply with the requirements.