Coal supplier to sue Vietnam Electricity for delayed payment

By Anh Minh   August 11, 2020 | 05:20 pm PT
Coal supplier to sue Vietnam Electricity for delayed payment
Vinh Tan Thermal Power Plant in the central province of Binh Thuan. Photo courtesy of EVN.
A coal supplier has sued national utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) for payment of VND208 billion ($9 million) under a power plant supply contract.

DIC Investment and Trading Jsc, a supplier of coal and construction materials in Ho Chi Minh City, said in a statement to the State Securities Commission of Vietnam that it was suing EVN for delays in paying for the coal it has supplied to the Vinh Tan 4 Thermal Power Plant in the central province of Binh Thuan.

It said it had executed the coal supplying contract worth over VND1.1 trillion ($47.6 million) in April 2018 for conducting a test run of the thermal power plant.

However, issues concerning taxes and contract terms have resulted in EVN delaying its payment, depriving it of operating capital, DIC said.

The money owed it by EVN and some other companies is the reason why an auditor has not commented on DIC’s financial statement for last year, which resulted in its stock being delisted from the HCMC Stock Exchange on April 10.

An EVN spokesman who did not want to be named said that the DIC demands had no grounds. "They go against the terms of the contract and the laws."

He said the coal DIC supplied failed to meet the agreed standard. Specifically, 26 shipments made at the Vinh Tan International Port in Binh Thuan had violated quality standards, and under the contract, DIC should be fined VND70.3 billion ($3.04 million), or 8 percent of the contract value, the spokesman said.

He also said EVN was withholding a payment of VND48.3 billion ($2.09 million) as part of the fine, and DIC still needed to pay it the remaining VND22 billion ($952,000) in fines.

As part of its demand, DIC wants EVN to pay VND118.3 billion ($5.1 million) for shipping costs incurred, but EVN claims this demand has no grounds either.

DIC also demanded a demurrage fee (charges paid for ship owners for delays in loading) of VND35.5 billion ($1.5 million) from EVN. The latter said in is in the process of calculating and negotiating this payment.

The coal supplier plans to sue EVN for another VND127 billion ($5.5 million) concerning the damage it has suffered, which means it will demand a total of VND335 billion ($14.5 million) from EVN in its lawsuit.

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