* TDE seized in May
* Red Electrica informs World Bank of dialogue under way
* Bolivia says move premature
MADRID, Jan 8 Spanish power grid operator Red
Electrica said on Tuesday it had begun to seek World
Bank arbitration over Bolivia's expropriation of its
transmission business TDE.
Bolivia decided to nationalise Red Electrica's power
transmission unit TDE in May and said this move stemmed from the
company's failure to invest enough the country's electricity
A Red Electrica official told Reuters: "We have informed the
ICSID (the International Centre for Settlement of Investment
Disputes) of the process of dialogue that is under way."
Under the arbitration rules, companies must allow some time
for negotiation before the World Bank will consider the case.
Bolivia's government said it regretted Red Electrica's
action, saying the Spanish company had not allowed enough time
for talks before turning to the World Bank.
"We were on our way to finding really fair solutions for
both parties," Bolivia's Communications Minister Amanda Davila
Bolivia's government, under President Evo Morales, has
nationalised oil, telecommunications, mining and electrical
generation companies and most recently took over two companies
owned by Spanish utility Iberdrola.
Argentina moved last year to take control of oil company YPF
from majority shareholder Repsol.
(Reporting By Andres Gonzalez. Editing by Jane Merriman)