Eskom's Kusile coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, December 18 2018. Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/BLOOMBERG
Eskom's Kusile coal-fired power station in Mpumalanga, December 18 2018. Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/BLOOMBERG

Tubular Construction Projects has joined other contractors in denying Eskom overpaid them by R4bn for work done at the troubled Kusile power station.

An Eskom report named Tubular Construction Projects, one of the largest privately owned construction firms in Southern Africa, among the four contractors that were overpaid for work done at the troubled power station.

It was noted in the report that Tubular was overpaid by R1bn, as was Stefanutti Stocks and Swiss-Swedish multinational ABB. Another R735m was said to have been paid to Tenova Mining and Minerals SA (TMMSA) while R180m was overpaid to “various site service contracts”.

In Tubular’s case, a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe resulted in the arrests of four individuals, two of whom are former Eskom employees.

In a statement on Tuesday, Tubular said it “denies that it has received any overpayments from Eskom”. Stefanutti Stocks and Tenova have also disputed that they were overpaid. ABB, meanwhile, has self-reported potential suspect payments and compliance concerns following an internal investigation into the matter.

Eskom has said Tubular Construction Projects submitted a proposal that led to a modification. However, whether the items included in the modification provided Eskom with any value and warranted additional money, is now in question. A contract awarded to Tubular for the waste-water treatment plant was also being investigated.

In its  statement, Tubular Construction Projects said the modification was the product of a contractual claim it submitted as a consequence of Eskom’s failure to meet its contractual and previously agreed commitments.

“Currently there are numerous contractual claims that have been submitted by Tubular Construction Projects that must be resolved. Eskom has received a positive result from a dispute adjudication board (DAB) tribunal for an interim delay and disruption claim, but Tubular Construction Projects has reserved its right, in terms of the contract, to refer the DAB adjudication to arbitration,” it said.

On the waste-water treatment plant, Tubular Construction projects said, “Contrary to Eskom’s briefing document, the waste-water treatment plant project was not awarded to Tubular Construction Projects but rather to an unincorporated joint venture known as Tubular Zamani Joint Venture, which is not part of Tubular Construction Projects,” the firm said.

On the SIU probe, Tubular Construction Projects said it had offered its full assistance and co-operation as well as “substantial documentation”. 

“Since November 2018, a vast number of media reports have surfaced with various allegations being made; however, as this matter is now sub-judice, nothing further can be added,” Tubular said.

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