Mystery Haldia DHDT price delay

Vol 20, PW 19 (15 Jun 17) News in Brief

Hualu Engineering, L&T and Technip are waiting in suspense following IndianOil's mysterious decision to delay the opening of price bids in a tender to set up a 1.2m t/y facility to remove sulphur from diesel at its 7.5m t/y Haldia refinery.

IndianOil project manager Engineers India (EIL) initially sent an email to all bidders on June 6 saying price bids would be opened on June 7 at 4.05pm. "You are informed your bid has been accepted during technical evaluation by the duly constituted committee," said the email.

But bidders had an unpleasant surprise when they received another email from EIL at 3pm on June 7 inexplicably postponing the price bid opening until further notice. Some speculate EIL received last-minute "guidelines" from IOC.

Others believe it might be because of the oil ministry's April 25 directive demanding a certain percentage of local content in all tenders from state-owned companies. In this tender bids were submitted by the extended April 25 deadline as refiners race to meet an April 1, 2020 target to roll out production of low sulphur Euro-VI grade fuel.