Algerian firm files RM370m claim against Malakoff, Hyflux JV

Malakoff chairman Datuk Hasni Harun said with the country

KUALA LUMPUR: An Algerian company had filed a claim for 80mil euros (RM370mil) against Tlemcen Desalianation Investment Co. SAS (TDIC), Singapore's Hyflux Ltd and Malakoff Bhd over a desalination project in that country.

Independent power company Malakoff announced to Bursa on Wednesday  Algerian Energy Co, SPA (AEC) was suing the joint-venture companies for alleged  breaches and negligence in the design, operation and maintenance of its plant

Malakoff said its lawyers in Paris had informed it that AEC had filed its request for arbitration  at the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration.

The claim was in relation to the water purchase agreement and a framework agreement in December 2007 and the joint-venture agreement dated March 28, 2007.

Malakoff said AEC claimed the three companies were liable for breaches and negligence in the design, operation and maintenance of the plant.

AEC also stated the three companies or respondents had wrongly objected to the termination of the water purchase agreement, transfer of shares to AEC and carrying out of technical audit under the framework agreement.

AEC claimed the respondents had breached their contractual obligations and sought an order for them to pay the costs to repair the plant.

AEC sought an order for the respondents to indemnify AEC for damages incurred as a result of their breaches, estimated on an interim basis at 80mil euros.

It also sought an order that the respondents guarantee the payment or reimburse the fine of 3.929bil Algerian dinar which was imposed on Almiyah Attilemcania SPA (AAS) by Algerian courts and currently pending outcome of AAS’ appeal at the Algerian Supreme Court).

Malakoff said it appointed international arbitration lawyers in Paris and Kuala Lumpur to advise on and take the necessary steps to defend its position and  challenge AEC’s claims in the ICC arbitration, and possibly counterclaim against AEC.

To recap, AAS is a joint stock company incorporated in Algeria for the design, installation and operation of the plant.  TDIC holds 51% of AAS and AEC 49%. The shareholders of TDIC, a company incorporated in France, are Malakoff AlDjazair Desal Sdn Bhd (MADSB) and MenaSpring Utility (Tlemcen) Pte Ltd (MUPL), holding 70% and 30% of the shares respectively.

MADSB is a unit  of Malakoff while MUPL is wholly owned by Hyflux.

Malakoff said the group’s carrying amount of investment in AAS had been fully provided for in 2016.

“The request is not expected to have any operational impact to Malakoff. The financial impact, if any, of the request, cannot be determined with finality at this juncture as the claims are still being reviewed by Malakoff's lawyers,” it said. 

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