IOC keeps bidders guessing in Bongaigaon tender

Vol 20, PW 8 (12 Jan 17) Midstream & Downstream

More than a month since bids were submitted IndianOil is still struggling to convince bidders to comply with its terms in a crucial tender to expand and upgrade the 1.35m t/y Bongaigaon refinery in Assam.

PETROWATCH learns IOC is using every trick in the book to bring in line CTCI, L&T, Punj Lloyd and Technip. Unlike fellow bidder Essar Projects, these companies demanded changes to the payment terms and project completion schedule when they submitted bids by the extended December 5 deadline for the 740,000 t/y FCCU and LPG treatment facility estimated to cost around Rs1300cr ($191m).

"IOC is telling each bidder it is the only one holding out and the others have withdrawn their deviations," we hear. Unfortunately, bidders are sharing notes.

IOC is also threatening to open only Essar's price bid but bidders know this is a bluff as anti-corruption guidelines prevent it from opening tenders with just one valid bid. At issue is the 30-month project completion and commissioning schedule which bidders want extended to 33 months.

"It's impossible to complete this project in 30 months," complains one company. "I wonder how Essar agreed.

Maybe they built this into their price?" IOC is likely to give in and extend the completion schedule but only after Board approval. "That will take time," adds a source.

"This is why IOC is piling the pressure on bidders to comply so price bids can be opened immediately."

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