Technip disqualified from Neelam EPC tender

Vol 20, PW 12 (09 Mar 17) Exploration & Production

Only three bidders are left in the race for ONGC's re-tendered $260m Neelam platforms redevelopment project after Technip and partner MMHE were disqualified last month (February).

ONGC's board has yet to open the price bids for the remaining companies: SapuraKencana with AFCONS, NPCC and Larsen & Toubro. NPCC and SapuraKencana are still considered the strongest contenders because L&T has several offshore projects in hand and is not believed to be hungry for this one.

Why was Technip Geoproduction (Malaysia) with Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering (MMHE) disqualified? Blame the consortium's casual attitude to the second round of clarifications demanded by ONGC, say sources. ONGC wanted responses by 5pm on February 15.

All contractors bar Technip with MMHE responded. Technip sent in a last-minute letter at 4.45pm seeking an extension till 5.30pm on February 16.

But this left no time for director offshore TK Sengupta to decide and the extension was refused. Technip also failed to upload any file on ONGC's internet portal but submitted unsigned documents in paper form, admittedly on time.

ONGC's tender committee ruled the bid was "technically not acceptable" and was upset the consortium only submitted a press release, not a signed document, confirming the appointment of Cik Wan Mashitah Wan Abdullah Sani as MD and CEO of MMHE in January 2017. Worse, ONGC received no response from the consortium to other commercial queries in the second round of clarifications.