Lopezes, partner seek ICC arbitration

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The Lopez group and Korean solar wafer giant Nexolon Co. Ltd. are at odds over their fledgling local solar water-slicing partnership and have sought international arbitration to probe alleged contract violations.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday, the Lopezes’ First Philippine Holdings Corp. said First PV Ventures Corp. (First PV) and First Philec Nexolon Corp. (FPNC) had filed a request for arbitration of their dispute with Nexolon with the International Chamber of Commerce.

“Both FPNC and Nexolon are alleging breaches by the other party of their wafer slicing supply and services agreement,” the company said. “First PV is joining the arbitration as a party to protect its rights under the joint venture agreement with Nexolon.”

“FPNC has sought arbitration in order to enforce its rights under the agreement, including the payment of unpaid sums of money by Nexolon, and for such other relief as the arbitration tribunal shall deem appropriate,” the disclosure said.

FPNC is a joint venture established last year by First PV and Nexolon to slice silicon wafers for the Korean firm.

First PV is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Philippine Electric Corp., which is FPH’s manufacturing subsidiary.  First PV holds a 70-percent stake in the venture while the remaining 30 percent is owned by the Korean partner.

The $100-million joint venture put up an initial 400-megawatt solar wafer-slicing plant in the Philippines.  The newly constructed FPNC plant was inaugurated in December last year in First Philippine Industrial Park in Tanauan, Batangas. The new plant has capability to slice for both the monocrystalline and multicrytalline segment.

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