Stefanutti Stocks disputes Eskom report findings of R1bn over-spend on Kusile project

SOUTH African construction firm, Stefanutti Stocks, hit back at a report by Eskom that it had been overpaid by R1bn for work conducted on the utility’s Kusile power station project.

Responding to the report, Stefanutti said the payments which Eskom said relate to “unsubstantiated claims” were all made after certificates were issued by the independent engineer, according to a report by BusinessLive.

“During that period, representatives of the engineer and Eskom carried out audits of the Stefanutti Stocks Basil Read JV records and the payment certificates were issued after they had satisfied themselves that the costs claimed were actually and validly incurred in the construction at Kusile,” the firm said.

Eskom said on Tuesday in a report presented to Parliament that it had overpaid various contractors for Kusile’s construction, a 4,800MW coal-fired power station, by as much as R4bn. Some R1bn each was ascribed to Stefanutti Stocks Basil Read, ABB SA, and Tubular Construction Projects, a South African firm.

Another R735m was attributed to Tenova Mining and Minerals SA, the local arm of the global metals and mining firm, and R180m was overpaid to “various site service contracts”, according to the report.

Stefanutti said in an announcement to the JSE News Service on Wednesday that the joint venture through which it conducted the work for Eskom’s Kusile was owed additional money for work done  for which payment has been withheld. A claims resolution process is ongoing, it said.

“Based on the works completed, as well as Eskom’s inability to provide access, Stefanutti Stocks contends that there are significant amounts due to it,” the firm said. An adjudication process to recover these additional amounts is expected to be concluded later this year.