Europe’s ABB has confirmed that it has withdrawn from its estimated $79 million turnkey contract to build the 400-kV gas insulated switchgear (GIS) substation at Qidfa in Fujairah emirate.

‘We can confirm that we have decided to abandon the Fujairah substation contract, but cannot comment further as this is part of an ongoing investigation,’ a spokesman for ABB in Zurich told MEED in a written statement in mid-March. ‘Other ongoing projects are not affected by this decision.’

Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) has recently appointed one of the other bidders for the contract, Japan’s Toshiba Corporation, to carry out the work, which was originally awarded to ABB last October (MEED 21:10:05).

The spokesman declined to comment on whether the company’s withdrawal from the contract was related to an 8 February statement, which said that ABB had disclosed to the US Department of Justice and the Securities & Exchange Commission ‘details of suspect payments in a country in the Middle East’.

‘These payments and several others made by company subsidiaries in a number of countries were discovered by ABB as a result of the company’s internal compliance rules,’ the early February statement read. It went on to say that it was co-operating with the relevant authorities, continuing its internal investigations and compliance reviews, and had begun a disciplinary investigation against a number of employees.