State-owned power utility Eskom has confirmed that it will approach the Constitutional Court next week to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling, which found that the company’s board tender committee (BTC) had acted unlawfully in awarding a R4.3-billion Koeberg contract to Areva, in September 2014.
The SCA judgment followed an appeal by Westinghouse Electric Company of an earlier High Court ruling in favour of Eskom.
The court found that the BTC had been wrong to take account of considerations not included as adjudication criteria in the original tender, but it refrained from substituting Westinghouse for Areva or interdicting the contract from proceeding. Instead it referred the tender for six new steam generators for the Koeberg nuclear power plant back to Eskom for reconsideration.
Group executive for generation Matshela Koko told Engineering News Online that, following a review of the December 9 judgment, Eskom had decided to take the matter to the Constitutional Court.
Legal papers had been prepared and should be lodged on Monday, January 18.
Koko said that, in the meantime, the contract was proceeding in line with Eskom’s programme for installing the new steam generators during scheduled shutdowns of the two Koeberg units in 2018.
Manufacturing of the steam generators began in September, with the work being undertaken in China under Areva supervision and to an Areva design.
The steam generators were expected to be delivered to the Koeberg site before the end of 2017 for installation during 2018.
“So we will appeal and we will continue to implement the contract,” Koko said, without disclosing the nature of its arguments to the Constitutional Court.