Banpu ordered to compensate TLL 2.6 billion baht by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (Mar 6) ordered Banpu, one of Asia’s largest coal producers, to pay Thai-Lao Lignite Co (TLL) 1.5 billion baht plus 7.5% interest over Hongsa coal-fired power plant dispute.

The ruling by the Supreme Court reversed earlier ruling by the Appeals Court that found Banpu not guilty of causing damage to TLL, which was the company’s former partner in coal mining and power plant project in Hongsa, Laos.

TLL was granted a concession by the Lao government to develop the Hongsa project in 1994, and in 2005 it brought Banpu in as a partner.

In September 2006, Lao government notified TLL that it was scrapping the contract, and two months later it awarded a new concession to Banpu.

TLL owner Siva Nganthavee accused Banpu of using information gained from their partnership to “misinform” the Lao government, leading to the termination of the contract.

Mr Siva later sought damages of 63.5 billion baht from Banpu based on lost earnings.

The Civil Court in 2013 ordered Banpu to pay over 31 billion baht in damages to Mr Siva. Banpu appealed to the higher court, seeking damages of 4 billion baht from Mr Siva.

The Supreme Court today reversed the Appeals Court’s ruling and ordered Banpu to pay 1.5 billion baht in compensation plus 7.5% interest to TLL.

TLL lawyer Adul Raksanit said his client was satisfied with the final rulingthat ordered Banpu and its two subsidiaries to pay the compensation to the company.

The compensation and the interest Banpu has to pay TLL amounted to 2.6 billion baht in total, he said.

Banpu lawyer Kasem Pumpuang said the three companies would meet to consider the amount each company has to pay to TLL.