NPCC or Sapura will win Neelam EPC upgrade

Vol 20, PW 8 (12 Jan 17) Exploration & Production

Of four companies that bid it looks like the battle will be between National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) of Abu Dhabi and Malaysia's SapuraKencana for ONGC's multi-million dollar re-tendered offshore Mumbai Neelam redevelopment EPC project.

By December 19, ONGC had received bids from Larsen & Toubro; SapuraKencana (85.98%) with AFCONS (14.02%); NPCC bidding alone; and Technip (50%) with Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering (50%). "Only companies with barges and a yard will quote an attractive price," says a source.

As luck would have it, NPCC has its own yard and barges, as does SapuraKencana. With so few orders in hand, it's believed NPCC quoted a competitive rate but this can only be confirmed when bids are opened.

Another source adds SapuraKencana joined up with AFCONS only to qualify. "On its own," adds a source, "Sapura does not have process platform experience." L&T is dismissed as a 'non-serious' contender with little or no appetite for risk particularly as it already has several offshore projects in hand.

Technip in alliance with Malaysia Marine is unlikely to have bid aggressively as it owns no barges and must hire them. Many were surprised that earlier favourites Hyundai Heavy Engineering and McDermott stayed away.

ONGC wanted Hyundai to bid in the interests of more competition. As for McDermott, sources say it prefers more challenging assignments.

Petrovietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC), Sapura's earlier Neelam partner, also stayed away.

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