Maaden signs major agreements with US firms Alcoa, Mosaic

The agreements were signed at the Saudi-US CEO Forum in Riyadh on Saturday.
Updated 21 May 2017

Maaden signs major agreements with US firms Alcoa, Mosaic

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Mining Company Maaden has signed “landmark” memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the US-based companies Alcoa and Mosaic, according to a statement.
The agreements, signed at the inaugural Saudi-US CEO Forum in Riyadh, will help tap the Saudi mining sector’s significant potential, it was announced.
Maaden and Alcoa announced that they would assess the feasibility of an expansion of a smelting capacity in Saudi Arabia. They previously developed an aluminum production complex in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City.
Since it was formed by the partners in 2009, the Maaden-Alcoa joint venture complex has made a contribution of approximately $4 billion to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product (GDP), the statement said. The joint venture supports 3,500 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs. If the expansion were to proceed, primary aluminum capacity could be increased by 600,000 metric tons annually and result in over 3,000 high quality direct and indirect jobs.
Maaden and Mosaic announced an MoU to further highlight and commemorate the partnership between the two mining and fertilizer businesses. The MoU contemplates several areas of potential collaboration in the phosphate business in Saudi Arabia. Mosaic, Maaden and their partner SABIC have already invested about $8 billion in developing the project.
Maaden is advancing a third project for the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers in the Kingdom. The project, which is anticipated to be implemented in phases starting production early in the next decade, envisions adding up to an additional 3 million tons per year of production capacity with a total investment estimated to be $6.4 billion.
The project is subject to the completion of definitive studies and obtaining necessary board approvals and consents. Estimated benefits from the project include a GDP contribution of about $2.4 billion and total employment of 7,000, many of which would be high quality jobs.

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

Updated 26 May 2020

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

  • Scandal has already cost firm more than €30 billion; ruling serves as template for about 60,000 cases

KARLSRUHE, Germany: Volkswagen must pay compensation to owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines in Germany, a court ruled on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the automaker almost 5 years after its emissions scandal erupted.

The ruling by Germany’s highest court for civil disputes, which will allow owners to return vehicles for a partial refund of the purchase price, serves as a template for about 60,000 lawsuits that are still pending with lower German courts.

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to cheating in emissions tests on diesel engines, a scandal which has already cost it more than €30 billion ($33 billion) in regulatory fines and vehicle refits, mostly in the US.

US authorities banned the affected cars after the cheat software was discovered, triggering claims for compensation.

But in Europe vehicles remained on the roads, leading Volkswagen to argue compensation claims there were without merit. European authorities instead forced the company to update its engine control software and fined it for fraud and administrative lapses.

Volkswagen said on Monday it would work urgently with motorists on an agreement that would see them hold on to the vehicles for a one-off compensation payment.

It did not give an estimate of how much the ruling by the German federal court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), might cost it.

Volkswagen shares were 0.5 percent lower. The BGH’s presiding judge had signaled earlier this month he saw grounds for compensation.

Costs mount

“The verdict by the BGH draws a final line. It creates clarity on the BGH’s views on the underlying questions in the diesel proceedings for most of the 60,000 cases still pending,” Volkswagen said.

A lower court in the city of Koblenz had previously ruled the owner of a VW Sharan minivan had suffered pre-meditated damage, entitling him to reimbursement minus a discount for the mileage the motorist had already
benefited from.

The court at the time said he should be awarded €25,600 for the used-car purchase he made for €31,500 in 2014.

“We have in principle confirmed the verdict from the Koblenz upper regional court,” said BGH presiding federal judge Stephan Seiters.

Volkswagen had petitioned for the ruling to be quashed altogether by the higher court, while the plaintiff had appealed to have the deduction removed.

A Volkswagen spokesman said that outside Germany, more than 100,000 claims for damages were still pending, of which 90,000 cases were in Britain.

The carmaker also said it had paid out a total of €750 million to more than 200,000 separate claimants in Germany who had opted against individual claims and instead joined a class action lawsuit brought by a German consumer group.

The carmaker said last month it would set aside a total of 830 million for that deal.

In a separate court, Volkswagen agreed last week to pay €9 million to end proceedings against its chairman and chief executive, who were accused of withholding market-moving information before the emissions scandal came to light.