Perdaman chemicals to sue Indian bank

Perdaman Chemicals has launched a Federal Court damages claim against India’s second largest bank ICICI.

The company is already in the midst of a $3.4 billion dollar legal battle against Indian miner Lanco Infratech over its stalled urea plant located in the Western Australian town of Collie, the West reported.

ICICI bank is the lender to Lanco Infratech who took over the debt-ridden Griffin Coal in 2010 after the company collapsed into administration with up to $1 billion owing.

Perdaman was to rely on coal from Griffin’s mines to power its urea plant, striking a 25-year deal which Lanco reneged on in 2011.

The company claims that Lanco has hiked up the price of its product in an effort to pay off Griffin’s debts, the ABC reported.

Lanco denies the claims.

The fresh damages claim filed against ICICI is due to be heard in court in February.

Perdaman alleges that ICICI deliberately "engaged in interference" in the financing of its Collie fertiliser project as part of Lanco's push for higher prices.

"Each defendant (including ICICI and Lanco) used unfair tactics and acted in bad faith," Perdaman's statement of claim said.

"Perdaman was in a weak bargaining position and each defendant by their conduct exploited that position."

Perdaman claims it has spent $195 million to date on its urea facility, and is seeking at least $3.4 billion in damages.

Lanco has lodged a counter claim, raising doubts about the $195 million amount Perdaman has spent on its project and is currently questioning why the company is seeking damages while still attempting to enforce the contract.

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