By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times
A Texas engineering and construction company is suing Arizona Public Service, alleging that the utility refuses to pay nearly $900,000 owed for close to $4 million in maintenance at its gas- and coal-powered plants.
Saulsbury Industries, based in Odessa, filed its complaint in Arizona U.S District Court on December 7. The company seeks $893,866, plus attorneys’ fees and interest.
In March 2018, according to the complaint, Saulsbury signed an agreement with APS, the largest electricity provider in the state, to be the maintenance and modification contractor at eight coal and natural gas plants across Arizona and New Mexico: Cholla, Four Corners, Red Hawk, Ocotillo, Saguaro, Sundance, West Phoenix, and Yucca.
Saulsbury was responsible for retaining and managing labor for any work that had to do with modifications, outages, or maintenance at those facilities.
Its work started on March 20, 2018, and lasted until January 22, 2019. Saulsbury notified APS in November 2018 that it would step down, because it decided to “[exit] the business of providing maintenance at [APS] plants,” according to the complaint. Saulsbury said that it continued doing work for APS even as it helped the utility find a replacement.
In a statement emailed to Phoenix New Times through a spokesperson, Saulsbury explained the decision to stop work for APS as a strategic and economic one, saying that in late 2018, the company “decided to scale back its operations and focus its services on its core markets.”