LafargeHolcim to appeal Romanian court’s dismissal of stolen EUA lawsuit

Published 14:23 on September 7, 2015  /  Last updated at 14:24 on September 7, 2015  /  Bavardage, EMEA, EU ETS, Switzerland  /  No Comments

LafargeHolcim will file an appeal in its lawsuit against Romania’s Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) over the theft of 1.6 million EU Allowances after a Romanian court in July rejected the cement maker’s claim, a company spokesman told Carbon Pulse.

LafargeHolcim will file an appeal in its lawsuit against Romania’s Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) over the theft of 1.6 million EU Allowances after a Romanian court in July rejected the cement maker’s claim, a company spokesman told Carbon Pulse.

The appeal follows another launched with Europe’s top court earlier this year by cement producer Swiss-headquartered Holcim, which merged with France’s Larfarge this summer.

LafargeHolcim is appealing the European Court of Justice’s Sep. 2014 decision to dismiss the Holcim’s case against the European Commission over the theft.

The company spokesman said there was no update in that case.

In Nov. 2010, Holcim’s emissions trading account at Romania’s online EU ETS registry was hacked and the EUAs were transferred to accounts in Italy and Liechtenstein.

According to EU records, within hours of being stolen the EUAs passed through accounts in the UK, France, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, before eventually being sold on emissions exchanges in Paris (BlueNext) and Amsterdam (Climex).

Around 695,000 EUAs were later returned to Holcim by authorities, but the remaining permits have never been recovered.

Holcim claims that it should be compensated for the nearly €18 million it lost, maintaining that the accounts containing the stolen EUAs should have been frozen, and the units should have been returned to the company rather than being allowed to be turned in by other firms covered under the EU ETS.

EU data shows European companies including International Power and ScottishPower have since handed in some of Holcim’s permits, but the firms claimed that they purchased them in good faith without knowing the units were stolen.

Holcim is seeking to recoup the value of the EUAs still missing, some €14.60 each, which was their market price on Nov. 16, 2010, the day of the theft.  Holcim also wants annual interest of 8% paid on that total.

By Mike Szabo – mike@carbon-pulse.com

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