26 – Risks from litigation and claims
On August 12, 2014, Metrogas S.A., Chile, filed its Statement of Claim in the arbitration proceedings initiated in May 2013 against Wintershall Energia S.A., Argentina (WIAR), Total Austral S.A. and Pan American Energy LLC. Metrogas claims damages valued at an amount of €180 million as a result of insufficient gas deliveries under a natural gas supply contract entered into by Metrogas and the defendants, as sellers, in 1997. WIAR’s share of supply in the contract is 37.5%. The defendants submitted their response to the proof of claim on December 10, 2014. They are of the opinion that Metrogas does not have any claim for damages.
BASF Corporation has potential liability under the Comprehensive Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, and related state laws for investigation and cleanup at certain sites. The Lower Passaic River Study Area (LPRSA) is one such site comprising the lower 17 miles of the Passaic River. BASF Corporation along with more than 60 other potentially responsible parties agreed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to perform remedial investigations and feasibility studies of the LPRSA. In April 2014, USEPA issued its focused feasibility study, identifying various alternatives for the lower eight miles of the Passaic River. After reviewing the comments on the study, USEPA will prepare a responsiveness summary and make a cleanup decision, which is anticipated in 2015. As the cost of the final remedy remains uncertain and the Company has found no evidence that it contributed any of the primary contaminants of concern to the Passaic River, BASF cannot reliably estimate its portion of the final costs for this matter at this time.
Furthermore, BASF SE and its affiliated companies are defendants in or parties to a variety of judicial, arbitrational or regulatory proceedings on a recurring basis. To our current knowledge, none of these proceedings will have a material effect on the economic situation of BASF. This includes a civil case for damages brought in the Southern District of New York against BASF Metals Limited, based in London, England, by a U.S. jewelry business in November 2014, and two lawsuits with identical allegations brought in the same court in January and February 2015. BASF Metals Limited and three other defendants are accused of improper conduct concerning the calculation of the market prices of platinum and palladium. BASF will defend itself against this lawsuit.