Factorias Vulcano slams ONGC for MSV tender delay

Vol 17, PW 14 (27 Feb 14) Exploration & Production

ONGC is under fire for repeated delays in launching a $136m tender to build a multipurpose support vessel (MSV) where it has extended the bid deadline six times since November.

PETROWATCH learns on February 20 ONGC announced it was extending the deadline again from February 21 to March 7. Previously it extended the deadline from November 1 to November 29 then again to December 20, then to January 17, then to February 14 and then to February 21.

"We were supposed to travel to Mumbai on February 21 to submit the bid,” says an angry bidder. “ONGC didn’t even inform us the deadline had changed; we checked its website and found the notice posted there at 8pm the night before.

” Jose Luis Mendez Perez, director general of Spain's Factorias Vulcano, wrote on January 27 to Manas Chakraborty, ONGC general manager (offshore logistics), to complain about the repeated extensions. “These extensions cause much inconvenience as we must negotiate prices and delivery schedules with the original equipment manufacturers besides extending the bank guarantee for the ‘earnest money deposit’," he writes.

"Besides the cost, it raises doubts in the international market over ONGC’s seriousness.” When contacted, Chakraborty refused to comment, saying it’s an internal matter.

Some speculate there was a freeze on the project decision until it becomes clear if ONGC chairman Sudhir Vasudeva receives his extension beyond February 28.