March 27, 2015 / 1:23 PM / 4 years ago

South African court rejects Westinghouse's challenge to Eskom nuclear contract

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African court dismissed on Friday an application by Westinghouse Electric Company to re-open the bidding process for a generator contract awarded to French rival Areva, a court official said.

The logo of the American company Westinghouse is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition 2014, the trade fair event for the global nuclear energy sector, in Le Bourget, near Paris October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Westinghouse, the world’s largest nuclear fuel producer and part of Japan’s Toshiba group, had contested South African power utility Eskom’s [ESCJ.UL] decision to award a 4 billion rand ($334 million) contract to Areva in August, saying the process was flawed.

Areva won the contract to replace six steam generators at the country’s only nuclear power plant, Koeberg, near Cape Town. The nuclear generators are expected to be installed by 2018.

“The application was dismissed with costs in favour of Eskom and Areva,” the court official told Reuters, adding that Judge Zeenat Carelse will provide her reasons next week.

A spokesperson for Westinghouse said the company would issue a statement later on Friday.

The refit at Koeberg is part of a programme to install up to 9,600 megawatts of new nuclear power by 2030 to help Africa’s most advanced economy overcome chronic power shortages.

The vast majority of electricity in Africa’s most advanced economy is generated from coal and the government is struggling to ensure that supply stays a step ahead of growing demand.

$1 = 11.9880 rand

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