Huge interest in GAIL tender for LNG tankers

Vol 19, PW 3 (08 Oct 15) Midstream & Downstream

GAIL’s pre-bid for its re-issued tender to hire nine or possibly 11 new LNG tankers saw strong interest from companies eager for work, despite L&T's surprise decision to walk away.

Around 80 people attended the eight-hour long meeting at GAIL’s headquarters in Delhi on September 30 from a range of companies including GasLog, Mitsui OSK, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, NYK, Exmar, Hyundai, Daewoo, Cochin Shipyard, Pipavav Defence, K-Line, Teekay, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), and Foresight Oil. Presiding over the meeting was GAIL executive director business development Sanjib Datta.

Likely bidders suggested companies without LNG experience should take not just 10% in the LNG tankers to be built in India, as specified by the tender, but 25%. “Having 25% and not just a token 10% will prove the company is comfortable taking this level of risk,” we hear.

Another suggestion was GAIL and SCI should be forced to take 10% and 26% respectively in all tankers. “For now GAIL and SCI only have the option to take these stakes in LNG tankers built in India,” we hear.

“But making this mandatory for all tankers ensures greater commitment.” Some raised concerns that the two Indian shipbuilders still in the race, Cochin and Pipavav, have yet to receive LNG containment system licences from France’s Gaztransport & Technigaz.

GAIL said this is no problem as price bids are opened after the licence is awarded.