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  • White Energy Company (WEC) is chasing over $220 million in damages from an ongoing legal battle with PT Bayan Resources
  • The coal miner took action against PT Bayan in 2011 for breaching its obligations under a joint venture
  • The Singapore International Commercial Court ruled in favour of White Energy in 2017
  • Now, White Energy is in the process of finalising the damages it is owed from PT Bayan’s breaches
  • The actual amount payable to White Energy will be determined by the Singapore court in September
  • WEC shares saw a 30.77 per cent spike today, trading for 8.5 cents each at midday

Australian coal miner White Energy Company (WEC) is chasing over $220 million in damages from an eight-year legal battle with PT Bayan Resources.

The dispute has been raging since 2011 when two White Energy subsidiaries took action against Indonesia-based PT Bayan for breaching joint venture obligations. The joint venture company at the centre of the dispute is PT Kaltim Supacoal, which was owned 51 per cent by White Energy and 49 per cent by PT Bayan.

White Energy alleged it was unable to secure coal supplies from PT Bayan under the conditions of the joint venture. Shares in WEC were trading for upwards of $4 in 2010, and between $1.50 and $3 in 2011, when the proceedings began.

Since the legal action was taken, however, White Energy shares have consistently traded around just 10 cents each.

In 2017, the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), where White Energy’s case is being heard, ruled in favour of the plaintiff and found PT Bayan in breach of its obligations under the joint venture.

Today, White Energy said it has recently filed an amended statement of claim to better particularise the damages claimed from PT Bayan’s breaches and renunciation of obligations under the joint venture.

White Energy subsidiary BCBC Singapore (BCBCS) is now seeking US$99 million (A$144 million) in wasted expenditure and US$54 million (A$78 million) in lost profits after missing out on the chance to expand the capacity of the joint venture because of PT Bayan’s breaches. The company is also seeking interest on any damages award and costs.

The expenditure damages refer to money spent on the joint venture that was rendered pointless by PT Bayan’s repudiation of the partnership.

As such, BCBCS’ claims come to roughly US$153 (A$222 million) plus interest and costs. The actual damages payable by PT Bayan will be determined by the SICC by September 21, according to White Energy, which will finally spell an end to the almost decade-long ordeal.

With an end in sight and the potential for some significant payments in damages on the way, WEC shares saw a 30.77 per cent spike today. At midday. AEDT, shares in White Energy are worth 8.5 cents each.

WEC by the numbers
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