Westinghouse Electric Company has pushed ahead with a legal challenge of an Eskom nuclear contract awarded to rival AREVA, reports Reuters. The Toshiba subsidiary has filed for an expedited review application in the South Gauteng High Court over the award of a contract for the replacement of steam generators at Africa’s only nuclear power station to AREVA.
Eskom awarded the contract valued at $381 million (R4.3 billion) to AREVA in August for the supply of six steam generators for the 1,800 MW Koeberg Nuclear Power Station located some 18 miles from Cape Town. However, Westinghouse has maintained AREVA’s selection was not “in line with a fair and transparent tender process” and would “pursue its legal rights” to documents it says Eskom has failed to provide as court ordered on Sept. 5.
Eskom has said it does not object to providing documents related to the tender process to Westinghouse, but did not wish to disclose items that it deemed commercially sensitive.
Eskom is supplier of about 95 percent of South Africa’s power.
“Westinghouse Electric Company intends to continue pursuing its challenge of Eskom’s decision to award a tender for the replacement of steam generators at the Koeberg nuclear power plant,” Westinghouse said.
“Based on documentation which Eskom has provided to date, Westinghouse maintains its stance that Eskom’s decision was flawed on various levels and should be set aside by the court.”
The dispute is likely to lead to long-drawn-out legal battle for Eskom, which is already challenged with project delays and soaring demand. According to a recent report presented in Cornerstone, during 2013, Eskom operated at times with as low as a 1 percent reserve margin due to declining performance of an aging fleet of coal-fired power stations as well as delays in construction of two new power stations.