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Westinghouse Electric partly withdraws Koeberg tender case

Westinghouse Electric partly withdraws Koeberg tender case

Westinghouse Electric SA has partly withdrawn an urgent application
relating to a R4 billion tender to replace steam generators at the
Koeberg nuclear power plant, Eskom said on Thursday.

Westinghouse wanted to prevent
Eskom from finalising the contract and to see all documents relating to
it. The company withdrew its application to prevent the power utility
from finalising the contract with French company Areva NP Proprietary.

“I am pleased that Westinghouse
has seen the light on this matter,” Eskom’s acting group executive for
technology and commercial Matshela Koko said in a statement.

“With this matter behind us,
Eskom is proceeding with the implementation of the Koeberg steam
generator replacement project as planned.”

The power utility said it received notice of the withdrawal of the application from Westinghouse Electric SA’s attorneys.

Westinghouse confirmed its
decision on Thursday and said it would rather focus on the court
application to obtain all the documentation relating to Eskom’s decision
and the envisaged urgent review proceedings.

“Westinghouse has once again
cautioned Eskom and Areva that they should not proceed with the
implementation of the agreement, pending the conclusion of the review
proceedings, and if they do proceed to implement, they do so at their
own risk,” it said in a statement.

“Affidavits filed on behalf of
Eskom in related court proceedings only serve to reinforce
Westinghouse’s view that the decision not to award the tender to it was
fundamentally flawed and should be reversed.”

It said the affidavits showed
that Eskom was intending to proceed to conclude or implement an
agreement with Areva, “with undue haste” and with no proper regard to
the risk that a court may ultimately overturn the decision.

However, Eskom said it was
satisfied with the integrity of the process and had ensured that the
process remained fair and in adherence to good governance.

“The relief sought to access the
documentation leading up to and forming the basis of the Eskom decision
in the procurement of the steam generators will be heard tomorrow
[Friday],” it said.

“Eskom has been working to
provide such documentation in any event on the basis of a formal request
via Westinghouse’s attorneys of record.”

Last month, Eskom’s board of directors announced it had awarded the contract to Areva.

In a report on Wednesday,
Westinghouse Electric SA managing director Frederik Wolvaardt said his
company was the winner of the R4.2bn tender until Public Enterprises
Minister Lynne Brown was told about the tender committee’s decision.

Four different sources told Westinghouse officials the company won the bid before Brown made the announcement on August 16.

“Westinghouse handed in a better
tender in all aspects — out of a commercial and technical point, at a
lower price as well,” Wolvaardt was quoted as saying in Beeld.

In court papers, he said Brown
was misled by acting Eskom CEO Collin Matjila and chairwoman of Eskom’s
tender committee Neo Lesela on August 15 when they briefed her on the
board’s decision.

The urgent application would be heard in the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.

The new generators were expected to be installed in 2018.


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