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Samsung Engineering seeks US$202M in lawsuit against Alcoa over Ma'aden JV

Samsung Engineering Co. is seeking damages of at leastUS$202 million from Alcoa Inc.in a lawsuit accusing the aluminum producer of "egregious corporatemisconduct" in construction activities at its Saudi Arabian operations,according to a March 29 complaint filed in the New York state Supreme Court.

The company was accused of intimidation, racist insults andthreats of assault against Samsung employees, according to the complaint.

"In order to cover up its own failures, deflect blamefor its misdeeds and unjustly line its own pockets, Alcoa engaged in a campaignof malicious misrepresentations and improper interference with Samsung'scontracts and Samsung's performance of its obligations," the plaintiffalleged in the lawsuit.

Alcoa "manufactured pretextual breaches by Samsung inorder to mask its own failure to perform and to financially benefit itself"by blaming Samsung — the engineering, procurement and construction contractor —for delays and cost overruns at the Saudi Arabian project, according to thefiling.

Alcoa is invested in the Al Ba'itha bauxite mine, refinery and smelter inSaudi Arabia, which are majority owned by Saudi Arabian Mining Co., also known as Ma'aden.

The US$10.8 billion project is joint venture between Alcoaand Ma'aden. Alcoa owns a 25.1% stake in the operations, with Ma'aden owningthe remainder, according to informationon Alcoa's website.

When contacted by SNL Metals & Mining, Monica Orbe, vicepresident of global media relations at Alcoa, said the company does not commenton litigation.