Derwick Associates

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Native name
Derwick Associates de Venezuela SA
FounderAlejandro Betancourt López
Pedro Trebbau López
ProductsElectrical power
Natural gas
Power-plant construction

Derwick is a Venezuelan energy company specializing in the construction of turn-key power plant projects. Derwick undertook eleven projects that created 1.216MW of new generation capacity for Venezuela.[1]

History and clients[edit]

Derwick's first project was the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) of Picure Power Plant in Vargas State for 156 MW, awarded by the state-owned Electricidad de Caracas in 2009. It was followed by 11 more contracts from the Venezuelan government through PDVSA, CVG and Corpoelec during the 2009 - 2010 energy crisis in Venezuela. Four contracts were awarded by state-owned Electricidad de Caracas (since December 2011, part of Corpoelec), five by state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA, with the contract negotiated by Bariven, a division of PDVSA), and one by state-owned Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG). The company's directors are: Edgard Romero Lazo, Iker Candina, Alejandro Betancourt López and Pedro Trebbau López.

Projects and actions[edit]

Venezuelan EPC projects[edit]

  • Picure (Completed).
  • La Raisa I (Completed).
  • La Raisa II (Completed).
  • Guarenas I (Completed).
  • Guarenas II (Completed).
  • Adecuación Dual, Planta Juan Bautista Arismendi (Completed).
  • Sidor Planta A (Completed).
  • El Furrial (over 97% completion).
  • Barinas (over 97% completion).
  • Morichal (over 97% completion).[2][3]

Turbine Technology Center (TTC)[edit]

Derwick´s Turbine Technology Center (TTC) was started by Derwick in 2011 and conceived as a quick response to the technical assistance needs of the country.[1][4]

In December 2013, Derwick Associates received the award "The Best Latin-American Initiative",[5] given by Capital, Spanish financial magazine [1] The award recognizes the TTC (Technological Center of Turbines) as an important initiative that has helped to improve Venezuela's power system.[5]

Controversy and litigation[edit]

Independent investigations[edit]

In 2011, Venezuelan newspaper Ultimas Noticias's César Batiz published an investigative series alleging overbilling and odd transactions between BARIVEN and Derwick Associates. The articles alleged that the company had no experience building power plants when it was contracted to build them.[6] A deputy to the National Assembly called for an investigation of how the Derwick contracts were awarded.[7] In 2012, the Derwick articles in Ultimas Noticias won an award for investigative journalism. According to Reporters Without Borders and to the Institute of Press and Society, reporters received "threats, pressures, bribe offers" or were banned on Venezuela's internet.[8] In 2012, César Batiz was offered a US$50,000 bribe to stop writing about the Venezuelan electricity industry.[9]

According to claims by energy expert José Aguilar, the 40 contracts awarded to various companies, including Derwick, to address the Venezuelan energy crisis were overbilled by billions of dollars.[10] Derwick director Edgard Romero Lazo claimed that allegations of overbilling and bribery were "part of a defamation campaign" against the company.[2] The company claims that all contracts are available to the public through the National Contractors Registry (RNC).[2]


In 2013, Derwick was sued in the New York Federal Court by Washington businessman and ex-ambassador Otto Reich, who alleged that Derwick's executives defamed him and caused his consulting business to suffer financial losses, accusing Derwick of falsely stating that he consulted for them.[11] In a separate legal action, Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza, a human rights lawyer, alleged defamation and sued Derwick and its partners.[12]

Both suits have been dismissed.[13][14]

United States Department of Justice investigations[edit]

In August 2014, it was reported in The Wall Street Journal that Derwick was under preliminary investigations by the United States Department of Justice and Manhattan prosecutors due to bribery allegations and possible banking infractions. ProEnergy Services, an energy company based in Missouri, was also said to be under investigation due to its relationship with Derwick. Manhattan prosecutors were specifically investigating Derwick and ProEnergy Services due to potential violations of New York banking laws. Federal prosecutors, however, are investigating the two companies for potential breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, "which prohibits offering foreign government officials improper payments in exchange for a business advantage", with prosecutors suspicious of the potentially inflated prices used by Derwick and ProEnergy Services for the Venezuelan government that possibly showed raised prices to cover acts of bribery.[15]

In March 2016, Derwick's activities were investigated by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York. Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice confirmed that 18 Swiss banks, following the measures of mutual assistance, agreed to turn over any existing bank records they would have involving representatives of the company, the first official statement acknowledging the investigation against Derwick by the United State Department of Justice.[16][17] According to a Derwick spokesman, the investigation was suspended after the Justice Department reviewed its bank records, though the Department of Justice did not confirm this.[18]


  1. ^ a b c El Nacional Web. "Premian en España al Centro Tecnológico de Turbinas de Derwick" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  2. ^ a b c Luis Carías Toscano. "Derwick ha edificado 11 plantas termoeléctricas que generan 1.386 MW". Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  3. ^ "La venezolana Derwick, en busca de oportunidades de inversión en el sector eléctrico español". Expansión. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. ^ "CTT de Derwick es distinguido como mejor iniciativa empresarial latinoamericana" (in Spanish). 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  5. ^ a b "Derwick Associates Wins Capital Award for Best Latin American Initiative". Yahoo Finance. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Ipys reconoce investigación de periodista de ÚN | Últimas Noticias". Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  7. ^ "Oposicion Exige Revisar Plan De Inversion Electrica - 2011" (in Spanish). El Universal. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  8. ^ [1] [2] [3]
  9. ^ "Autor de investigaciones periodísticas sobre sector eléctrico es citado por presunto funcionario de policía de inteligencia e intimidado por empresa contratista". IPYS. 18 Dec 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  10. ^ "La corrupción apaga a Venezuela | Internacional | EL PAÍS". 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
  11. ^ "Otto Reich, Former US Ambassador To Venezuela, Files Bribe Suit Against Executives At Derwick Associates." The Huffington Post. Accessed 4 April 2014.
  12. ^ Maria, Antonio (2014-03-27). "Lawsuit filed in Miami accuses Venezuela top official, Diosdado Cabello, of bribery - Venezuela". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  13. ^ Newsham, Jack (26 May 2017). "2nd Circ. Won't Save Ex-Venezuela Ambassador's RICO Case - Law360". Law360.
  14. ^ "Corte de EEUU desestima acusación contra Derwick Associates | Globovisión". Globovision (in Spanish). 18 July 2015.
  15. ^ Cordoba, Jose; Mathews, Christopher (8 August 2014). "Venezuelan Energy Company Investigated in U.S." Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  16. ^ "Swiss Banks Land in Middle of Money-Laundering Probe -- Again". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Switzerland to hand Venezuela oil firm bank records to U.S." Business Insider. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
  18. ^ Schaefer Muñoz, Sara; Kurmanaev, Anatoly (19 April 2016). "Colombian Oil Producer Pacific Falls From Grace". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 April 2016.

External links[edit]