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Court orders Eskom to hand over docs on contested tender

The power utility has been ordered to produce the documents within five days.

Eskom has been ordered to produce within five days documents relating to a tender it awarded to replace steam generators at its nuclear power plant. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has been ordered to produce within five days documents relating to a tender it awarded to replace steam generators at its nuclear power plant, one of the bidding companies said on Friday.

On Thursday, Westinghouse Electric Company, a part of Japan's Toshiba group, said it was dropping legal action to reopen the bidding for the contract awarded to French rival Areva but was pressing for documents on the deal.

"Westinghouse ... has been successful in obtaining an order in the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court in South Africa obliging Eskom to produce within five calendar days all relevant documents," it said in a statement on Friday.

"The production of all relevant documentation relating to the tender will place Westinghouse in a strong position to proceed with its intended course of action to review Eskom's decision."

A lawyer for Eskom told a news conference the utility was not opposed to giving Westinghouse the documents, but did not want to pass over "commercially sensitive or confidential documents".

Eskom officials said Areva had not signed the contract for undisclosed commercial reasons unrelated to the court proceedings, but was expected to do so soon.

Eskom awarded Areva the R4.3 billion contract in August to provide six steam generators for the country's only nuclear power plant at Koeberg near Cape Town.