SiC Processing administrator files lawsuit against Yingli Solar

With Yingli Solar enjoying nearly daily global television exposure as a sponsor of this year’s World Cup football tournament, the insolvency administrator of Germany’s troubled SiC Processing GmbH appears to have chosen an opportune time to file a lawsuit against the Chinese PV giant.

Christopher Seagon, the insolvency administrator of SiC Processing, based in Hirschau, Germany, and its Chinese subsidiary, SiC Processing in Baoding, China, said last year he intended to enforce contractual compensation claims against Yingli and several of its subsidiaries.

According to Seagon, Yingli owes SiC approximately €23 million ($31.27 million) and stresses that the outstanding debt was a major reason behind the company’s financial troubles and its insolvency in 2012.

A German court in the Bavarian town of Amberg has confirmed that the lawsuit has been filed, but it has not yet been served to Yingli, which has declined to comment on the report.

According to German financial magazine WirtschaftsWoche, Seagon initially filed a partial legal action against Yingli for €1 million but still aims to collect up to €24 million from the group.

Yingli already rejected similar claims made by Seagon in October, saying it had not only already paid all amounts due SiC but that the German company owed it outstanding rents and utility bills, adding that both parties remained divided over the determination of the residual payments. Yingli also took aim at Seagon’s claim that it was was partly responsible for SiC’s bankruptcy, saying in October that the insolvency of SiC was in virtue of its management and operation, which could not be linked to Yingli.

However, Yingli made it clear to pv magazine on Monday that it would not comment on the current report until it had first seen the latest complaint.

According to WirtschaftsWoche, SiC Processing invested €29 million in a slurry recycling facility at Yingli’s headquarters in Baoding, China, at the request of the PV manufacturer.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, WirtschaftsWoche said the lawsuit accused Yingli of subsequently opening its own "secret" processing plant and essentially ending a 10-year agreement with SiC in breach of contract.