Singapore shipyard accuses ONGC in vessel tender

Vol 16, PW 4 (06 Sep 12) People & Policy

Singapore-based Sembawang Shipyard has levelled allegations of financial impropriety against ONGC in a well-stimulation vessel tender worth $150m.

“I am obliged to bring to your attention the hidden agenda of some unethical official in your organisation,” reads a letter from Sembawang general manager Samuel Wong to ONGC chief vigilance officer Sanjeeva Kumar. Dated August 21, and seen by this report, Wong’s letter alleges ONGC has “pre-determined” the award to “a particular shipyard (IHC Offshore) and a particular integrator (NOV) which we and other shipyards were not keen on using due to their limited experience.

” ONGC issued the tender on December 28 last year to construct a well-stimulation vessel and received bids on April 27 from three companies: Netherlands-based IHC Offshore & Marine, and South Korean companies Hyundai Heavy Industries and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. ONGC is evaluating technical bids and sent out queries on August 8.

Sembawang did not bid but alleges that IHC and ONGC’s technical consultant US-based Elliott Bay Design share the same agent to act on their behalf in India: Chennai-based Results Marine. This, alleges Sembawang, is a clear conflict of interest, giving IHC unfair advantage.

An industry source dismisses these allegations as “ill-informed” and “baseless.” He admits Results Marine is Elliott Bay’s agent in the well-stimulation vessel tender but stresses that Results Marine does not represent IHC in this tender.

Results Marine does, however, represent IHC in a separate unrelated ONGC tender to construct an offshore Multi Support Vessel (MSV). “Sembawang is making far-fetched allegations because it failed to upload its bid onto ONGC’s website in time,” we hear “They just want ONGC to reopen the entire process so they can bid.

ONGC is fully aware that Results Marine represents IHC for the MSV tender. Sembawang’s allegations are bizarre.