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United States

Suzlon faces legal suit from US firm

US: A breach-of-contract lawsuit has been announced by Trinity Structural Towers Inc (TSTI), a Texas-based tower manufacturer, against Suzlon.

TSTI alleges that Suzlon failed to honour its obligation to purchase just over $500 million-worth of towers. TSTI says it has supplied Suzlon with just $88.6 million worth since the two companies signed a supply agreement in 2008.

Announcing the lawsuit, TSTI specified that Suzlon committed itself in 2008 to purchasing $377.3 million worth of TSTI 80-metre towers "on a scheduled basis through 2011". Two subsequent amendments to the supply agreement increased Suzlon's commitment by $123.8 million and extended "the delivery timeframe" to 2013.

Suzlon breached its "contractual purchase obligations" in both 2010 and 2011, claims TSTI, adding that the Indian-headquartered turbine manufacturer has not yet confirmed its tower purchases for 2012 and 2013.

TSTI claims it is incurring damages as a result of Suzlon's alleged breach of purchase obligations. The tower manufacturer says it "has been, and remains, willing and able" to meet its side of the supply agreement.

Suzlon has issued a brief statement in response: "This matter is unfortunately a direct consequence of the downturn in [the] US market over [the] past two years. Trinity continues to be a preferred supplier for Suzlon, and we are committed to finding a mutually agreeable solution. Given that the matter is sub judice, it would be inappropriate to comment further."
Announcement of TSTI's lawsuit came just days after Suzlon publicised a contract to supply 57 2.1MW turbines for a wind farm in the western US, with turbines scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of this year.

Late last year, Suzlon subsidiary Repower announced it will supply 68 2.1MW turbines this year for a project in the north-eastern US state of Pennsylvania. TSTI's suit was filed in the district court of Dallas County.

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