SolarWorld to appeal court ruling in $793 million dispute

German PV giant SolarWorld AG said Wednesday that it would appeal a decision on Tuesday by a U.S. judge to grant Hemlock Semiconductor Corp.’s claim for damages amounting to $793 million in the first instance.

The legal dispute between Hemlock and SolarWorld subsidiary SolarWorld Industries Sachsen GmbH stems from a silicon supply deal that went south after silicon prices plummeted.

SolarWorld said the unit would appeal the judgment at the U.S.  Intermediate Court of Appeals, adding that it expected proceedings to last about a year.

“Inspite of this judgment in the first instance, SolarWorld AG continues to assume that Hemlock will not be able to enforce any claims in Germany,” the company said.

SolarWorld maintains that there are anti-trust concerns under EU law “regarding the effectiveness of the underlying supply contracts.”

The presiding judge said that the court had not considered proof of illegality under EU anti-trust but that the argument would eventually receive its day in court.

SolarWorld remains convinced that in the case of a legal defeat in the U.S., Hemlock would not be able to enforce any claims against the group in Germany.

“The risk assessment of SolarWorld AG has thus not changed,” the company said.