EPC: Swiber and AFCONS join hands for BCPA-3

Vol 18, PW 14 (12 Mar 15) Exploration & Production

Larsen & Toubro must be quivering with fear.

In a surprise move old rivals AFCONS and Swiber have teamed up to form an unbeatable consortium with a strong chance of winning ONGC’s re-tendered $350m BCPA-3 EPC project at the Bassein gasfield off Mumbai. “If AFCONS and Swiber hadn’t teamed up L&T was the strongest contender followed by Swiber and McDermott,” says a source.

ONGC received bids on March 9 from L&T; AFCONS (71.2%) and Swiber (28.8%); McDermott International; and Kencana (38.3%) with Technip (61.7%). “Nobody expected AFCONS and Swiber to partner up,” says a contractor.

“Together they are a winning combination.” Another source says it is unclear what pushed Swiber to join AFCONS as a junior partner.

“On its own Swiber was well placed to offer tough competition as it has its own barges and yards,” he says. Swiber also has plenty of experience executing ONGC offshore platform projects, he adds.

AFCONS on the other hand does not have its own yard and barges right now, even though it is believed to be setting up a yard at Mahua in Gujarat. “I’m not sure what AFCONS brings to the table in this consortium,” says a source.

“Maybe expertise with process platforms or maybe Swiber wanted to spread the financial risk.” ONGC wants the project completed by May 15, 2017.