Eskom justifies awarding of tender to Gupta-owned company

The City Press says Tegeta, through its mining company, was secretly awarded a tender worth over R500m.

Eskom’s Hendrina Power Station in Mpumalanga. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom says Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources was one of only two companies from a group of seven, able to meet its coal capacity requirements.

According to the City Press, Tegeta, through its mining company Optimum Coal, was secretly awarded a tender worth more than R500 million, to supply coal to power stations.

The report claims Eskom intentionally delayed appointing a new contractor after the expiration of its 40-year contract with Exxaro Resources, to give the Gupta-owned company time to prepare for the bid.

The power utility is also being accused of allowing Optimum Coal to divert its supply from the cheaper Arnot Power Station to the Hendrina Power Station, where Eskom pays a higher rate for each ton of coal.

But the power utility's Khulu Phasiwe says the working relationship is above board and that Optimum Coal was able to meet the demand.

"From the two of them they actually said that they had the capacity to increase. Tegeta was one of them and that's where we are now. Everything is above board and the companies that are participating in the whole process have absolutely nothing to complain about because they were given equal chance."