Siemens, Eskom in court over new kid on the block
Giant’s Camden tender bid fails
German engineering giant Siemens has locked horns with Eskom at the Joburg High Court in a desperate attempt to force the utility to reveal reasons why it did not award it a lucrative control and instrumentation (C&I) maintenance contract.
The company has also listed Standerton-based Senta Square as a second responded due to the firm having allegedly been chosen as the preferred bidder for the C&I contract.
Siemens has won the C&I tender at the power producer’s Camden coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga on four successive occasions.
At the time when Eskom went to market for the procurement of the maintenance services for the period 2019 to 2022, Siemens was the incumbent contractor providing the C&I services.
Siemens wants the court to set aside the decision based on three decisions Eskom took.
First, it wants the court to nullify the decision to disqualify a tender it submitted, second, to strike down a decision to cancel a request for proposal Eskom had issued. And last, to reverse the decision to disqualify a second tender it submitted in response to the reissued request for proposals.
Quartus Dorfling, the head of sales at Siemens, in an affidavit told the court that the tender in questions was not fair or competitive and that Eskom had not been forthcoming on the reasons behind its decision to disqualify the group from the bidding process.
“In light of the process that Eskom has followed in this case, neither Siemens, nor indeed any interested party, could be confident that important work on a vital component of South Africa’s distressed national energy infrastructure has ultimately been allocated on a rational basis or in the public interest,” the court papers read in part.
“With its depth of expertise and proven commitment and investment in the country’s energy capital, Siemens also brings this application out of concern for the lawfulness of the significant expenditure of public funds in these circumstances.”
Dorfling also questioned the capabilities of Senta Square to conduct the job.
“Prior to being informed of their presence at Camden, I have never heard of Senta Square in the control and instrumentation services industry, or as a contractor that has any experience at Camden or at any of Eskom’s other power stations.”
Built during the late 1960s, Camden coal-fired power station is situated about 15km south-east of Ermelo in Mpumalanga. Electricity at Camden is generated by eight boiler and turbine sets
The German firm has scored billions of rand in contracts from Eskom over the years including the 2013 R2.4-billion contract to supply 46 wind turbines to the utility’s 100MW Sere wind farm project near Vredendal in the Western Cape.
Eskom did not respond to questions, while Senta Square could not be reached for comment.