Legal action over South African contract

05 September 2014

Westinghouse has withdrawn its request for an urgent interdict against South African utility Eskom. The Toshiba-owned company will, however, continue legal action to obtain a review of a decision to award a tender for replacement steam generators for the Koeberg nuclear power plant to France’s Areva.

Eskom announced the award of the tender for the six new steam generators, worth a reported ZAR 4 billion ($374 million), to Areva NP in mid-August. Westinghouse, which had also bid in the tender, then applied to the South African high court for an urgent interdict to prevent Eskom proceeding with the contract award to Areva.

Westinghouse still intends to press on with expedited review proceedings, and has asked the South African courts for the immediate release of public information relating to the contract. "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," the company said. It also claims the affidavits show Eskom intends to "proceed to conclude or implement an agreement with Areva, with undue haste."

Westinghouse intends to focus its legal efforts on obtaining full documentation pertaining to Eskom's decision to award the tender. The company says it has "cautioned" Eskom and Areva not to proceed with implementation of the agreement until review proceedings are complete.

Eskom remains satisfied with the integrity of its internal processes in awarding the tender. In a statement, acting group executive for technology and commercial Matshela Koko said the company was proceeding with the Koeberg steam generator replacement project as planned. "I am pleased that Westinghouse has seen the light on this matter," he said.

Koeberg is South Africa's only operating nuclear power plant. Its two pressurised water reactors have been in operation since the mid-1980s and provide around 5% of the country's electricity. The new steam generators are scheduled for installation in 2018.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News