ONGC silent on Swiber's five-point rescue plan

Vol 20, PW 7 (15 Dec 16) People & Policy

Swiber's sub-contractors in India are panicking and increasingly anxious about the intricate twists and turns in the Mumbai High Court drama over the last two months.

Maybe they should ask ONGC why it is sitting on Swiber's settlement proposal which could potentially save them or offer some relief over $67.3m they are owed for three unfinished offshore projects? Bob Yap Cheng Ghee, appointed by the Singapore High Court to judicially manage financially distressed Swiber, received no definitive response on the settlement proposal when he met ONGC bosses in Delhi on December 7. This was despite meetings held over three days to December 3 between ONGC chairman DK Sarraf, director offshore TK Sengupta, director finance AK Srinivasan and other senior colleagues to discuss Swiber's November 14 proposal.

In a two-page letter signed by Bop Yap Cheng Ghee, Swiber asked ONGC to agree to five points so its lender DBS Bank can "continue with its support" for the completion of the Daman, PRP-IV and C-26 projects. Swiber wants ONGC to pay its Indian subcontractors at least 60% of the estimated $63.7m owed for work completed so far.

Swiber also insists this amount should not be deducted from its own "current or future claims." It also wants ONGC to waive all "current and future liquidated damages claims" or penalties so it has enough working capital to complete the projects.