|Rebecca P. Mark|
Number of employees
Azurix Corp. is a water services company, headquartered in Houston, Texas. The company owned and operated facilities in North America (mainly Canada), Europe, and South America. In 2007, Azurix was awarded a $165 million claim against the government of Argentina by an international arbitral tribunal; the company is currently involved in a dispute over Argentina's refusal to pay the claim.
Azurix was formed when Enron Corporation purchased British company Wessex Water in 1998. In June 1999, it was part-floated on the NYSE stock exchange, with Enron retaining 34% ownership. The company was formed with an IPO of $800 million and an opening stock price of $22.00, which fell to $2.00 within two years. The business was a disaster for Enron, and in April 2001 Enron announced it would break up Azurix and sell its assets. Enron eventually sold Azurix North America and Azurix Industrial Operations to American Water Works for $141.5 million.
The company was run by Rebecca P. Mark until her resignation in 2000; upon her resignation, John L. Garrison became Chairman and CEO.
Azurix is known in particular for operating in Argentina, where in June 1999 it bid $438m to win a 30-year concession covering two of the three regions of the Buenos Aires Province (excluding the Buenos Aires city concession, which is run by Suez). In October 2001, Azurix announced it would withdraw from the contract as of January 2002, accusing the regional government of "serious breaches", and later filed a compensation claim with the ICSID ("Azurix Corp. v. Argentine Republic (Case No. ARB/01/12)"). The concession was terminated in March 2002; in 2007 the ICSID awarded Azurix $156m in compensation (substantially less than the $620m Azurix originally invested and subsequently claimed in damages). On September 2009, the ICSID Ad Hoc Annulment Committee affirmed the award, rendering the arbitration final. 
Argentina has not complied with the ICSID ruling and is in violation of US trade law, which states that an arbitration award issued by an ICSID tribunal is “final and binding on the parties, and each party must carry out the provisions of any award without delay (article VII, section 6).” 
Azurix maintains a second arbitration case for its prior investment in the Province of Mendoza, Argentina which was suspended as of August 3, 2010. 
As a result of Argentina’s refusal to pay the Award, in December 2009 Azurix filed a petition with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to review Argentina’s eligibility to participate in the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. In the context of the 2009 review of the GSP program, USTR accepted Azurix’s petition to review whether Argentina met the criteria related to enforcement of arbitral awards. 
In August 2010, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced it would hear Azurix’s petition regarding Argentina, in connection with the 2009 GSP Annual Review to modify the GSP status of certain beneficiary developing countries (BDC’s) because of country practices.
In a filing prepared in advance of a September 28, 2010 GSP Subcommittee hearing Azurix stated, "Argentina has refused to enforce, through voluntary payment, a final and substantial arbitral award in favor of Azurix. Under these circumstances, U.S. law dictates the removal of GSP benefits for Argentina." 
At the September 28, 2010, GSP Subcommittee hearing, Azurix formally called for the removal of Argentina's benefits under the generalised system of preferences (GSP). 
In oral testimony, attorneys for Azurix, told the subcommittee that Argentina's refusal to comply with the 2006 ICSID award—which was upheld by an annulment committee last September—undermines the "very integrity of the foreign investment legal regime" and has an "erosive effect" on the ICSID Convention. 
As of July 31, 2010, Azurix was owed more than $220 million by the Republic of Argentina.
Enron acquired the British water utility Wessex Water in July 1998 with an all-cash purchase of $2.4 billion. This formed the core of Azurix and its main asset. Wessex was one of the most profitable utility companies operating in the UK, earning $232 million profit on $436 million in revenues the year before its sale to Enron. However, the British regulators required the company to cut its rates by 12% starting in April 2000 and an upgrade was required of the utility's aging infrastructure, estimated at costing over a billion dollars. By the end of 2000 Azurix had an operating profit of $100 million and $2 billion in debt.  Azurix subsequently sold its interest in Wessex Water in May 2002 to YTL Corporation of Malaysia.
Between 1999 and 2002, Azurix owned and operated a 30-year water and wastewater concession in Cancun, Mexico. In addition, Azurix took ownership positions in several joint ventures in Mexico and, in April 2000 Azurix won a BOT contract in Accra, Ghana 
Azurix created Waterdesk.com, an online eBusiness website that provides transactions online for the water industry in Europe. The weather was featured for the United States within these portals was done by Freese-Notis Weather with a series of maps outlining conditions for users. Additional news feeds were provided with a series of headline news sections by Comtex news services.
Exchange users were to utilize accounts online for the exchanging of water rights contracts as financial instruments. Additionally, the intent was also to provide risk management for water contract buyers and sellers. This area represented an expansion of EnronOnline to the water business. Some companies in the energy business also rely on water contracts for operations.
Azurix also created Water2Water.com for Latin American businesses to do business with Azurix online. Right before Rebecca Mark's departure, a pilot program in the Lower Rio Grande was commenced. 
Enron Corporation was an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas. It was founded by Kenneth Lay in 1985 as a merger between Lay's Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth, both relatively small regional companies. Before its bankruptcy on December 3, 2001, Enron employed approximately 29,000 staff and was a major electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper company, with claimed revenues of nearly $101 billion during 2000. Fortune named Enron "America's Most Innovative Company" for six consecutive years.
Water privatization is short for private sector participation in the provision of water services and sanitation. Water privatization has a variable history in which its popularity and favorability has fluctuated in the market and politics. One of the common forms of privatization is Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). PPPs allow for a mix between public and private ownership and/or management of water and sanitation sources and infrastructure. Privatization, as proponents argue, may not only increase efficiency and service quality but also increase fiscal benefits. There are different forms of regulation in place for current privatization systems.
The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is an international arbitration institution established in 1966 for legal dispute resolution and conciliation between international investors and States. ICSID is part of and funded by the World Bank Group, headquartered in Washington, D.C., in the United States. It is an autonomous, multilateral specialized institution to encourage international flow of investment and mitigate non-commercial risks by a treaty drafted by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development's executive directors and signed by member countries. As of May 2016, 153 contracting member states agreed to enforce and uphold arbitral awards in accordance with the ICSID Convention.
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Rebecca P. Mark-Jusbasche, known during her international business career as Rebecca Mark, is best known as the former head of Enron International, a subsidiary of Enron. She was also CEO of Azurix Corp., a publicly traded water services company originally developed by Enron International. Mark was promoted to Vice Chairman of Enron in 1998 and was a member of its board of directors. She resigned from Enron in August 2000.
Emmanuel Gaillard was a prominent practicing attorney, a leading authority on international commercial arbitration, and a law professor. He founded the international arbitration practice of the international law firm Shearman & Sterling before launching Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes, a global law firm dedicated to international arbitration, in 2021. He frequently acted as an arbitrator in international commercial or investment disputes. Emmanuel Gaillard died on 1 April 2021 at the age of 69.
Drinking water supply and sanitation in Argentina is characterized by relatively low tariffs, mostly reasonable service quality, low levels of metering and high levels of consumption for those with access to services. At the same time, according to the WHO, 21% of the total population remains without access to house connections and 52% of the urban population do not have access to sewerage. The responsibility for operating and maintaining water and sanitation services rests with 19 provincial water and sewer companies, more than 100 municipalities and more than 950 cooperatives, the latter operating primarily in small towns. Among the largest water and sewer companies are Agua y Saneamientos Argentinos (AYSA) and Aguas Bonarenses S.A. (ABSA), both operating in Greater Buenos Aires, Aguas Provinciales de Santa Fe, and Aguas Cordobesas SA, all of them now publicly owned. In 2008 there were still a few private concessions, such as Aguas de Salta SA, which is majority-owned by Argentine investors, and Obras Sanitarias de Mendoza (OSM).
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The debate about water supply and sanitation in Mendoza has been dominated by the controversial private concession for the provincial water company OSM granted in 1998 to a consortium led by Enron. While the concession improved water and sanitation services, it failed to meet all its specified targets. After the collapse of Enron the concession was overtaken by Argentine investors.
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Albert Jan van den Berg is a founding partner of Hanotiau & van den Berg in Brussels, an Emeritus Professor of Law at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC and at the University of TsinghuaArchived 2018-08-10 at the Wayback Machine School of Law, Beijing and a member of the Advisory Board and Faculty of the Geneva Master of Laws in International Dispute Settlement (MIDS), Geneva.
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