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ConCourt to hear Koeberg generator contract case

18 May 2016 - 10:19 By TMG Digital

A row over which a global energy giant gets a R5-billion contract to replace six aging steam generators at Koeberg nuclear power station in Cape Town goes to the Constitutional Court on Wednesday. The hearing is the latest episode in a six-year saga since Eskom said the generators were prone to corrosion cracking and would need replacement by 2018 as a "nuclear safety priority".Koeberg‚ built in the 1980s‚ has two nuclear reactors‚ each with three steam generators. Eskom realised the need to replace the steam generators which are prone to “inter granular stress corrosion cracking” as early as 2010.Areva‚ of France‚ and Toshiba subsidiary Westinghouse were successful in the initial stages of the tender after Eskom called for expressions of interest to replace the generators.In August 2014‚ the committee making the final decision on who to appoint voted for Areva through a secret ballot‚ and three days later the public enterprises minister endorsed the decision.The following month‚ Westinghouse launched a review application in the Johannesburg High Court‚ and when it lost it turned to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).Judges there said the Eskom committee's failure to inform either bidder of its strategic considerations was unfair and set the high court decision aside‚ ordering Eskom to reconsider its decision.Areva and Eskom have filed applications to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal against the SCA judgment.Westinghouse has filed an application for leave to appeal against the ruling that Eskom should reconsider its decision‚ saying the appeal court should have ordered the contract to be taken away from Areva and handed to it.Areva ‚ which has already started work on the project‚ and Eskom have argued that the steam generators must be replaced by 2018. Westinghouse contends‚ in its evidence before court‚ that the steam generators can be safely replaced after the 2018 deadline - TMG Digital..

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