Eskom has confirmed it has asked National Treasury to grant it exemptions from procurement regulations for its nuclear power expansion programme.
Dave Nicholls, the utility’s chief nuclear officer, said he submitted a request to the office of the Chief Procurement Officer in late May to waive certain requirements in terms of Public Finance Management Act regulations relating to the funding and the period for which tenders remain valid.
“Eskom can confirm that during the discussions with National Treasury’s Office of Chief Procurement Officer on 28th March this year, Eskom raised the areas of the current National Treasury Regulations (under the PFMA and PPPFA) which might need to be waived for the proposed Nuclear New Build Procurement (NNBP) process,” Nicholls said.
Eskom is asking for the period of bid validity to be extended from 12 weeks to two years, as well as a section of the standard for infrastructure procurement and delivery management (SIPDM).
“The need for the waiver on the SIPDM gate 4 was to align the process with the Cabinet decision for the vendors’ responses to the Request for Proposals to form the basis of the funding model that had to be submitted to Cabinet by the department of energy.
“Therefore the finalisation of the budget and funding issues would not be possible prior to RFP issue,” Nicholls added.
He said the other issue that was raised was the “feasibility study” requirement of the SIPDM, because it was introduced last year, by which time Eskom had already done a considerable amount of ground work.
Eskom therefore wanted to be assured that the preparations it had done prior to the promulgation of the SIPDM would meet the criteria it sets.
“The SIPDM came into force on the 1 July 2016, and predates the work done by Eskom on the feasibility of new nuclear power stations, as well as the Gazetted IRP of 2010. There was discussion of the need to confirm that the work done to date met the objective criteria of the requirements of the SIPDM,” Nicholls said.