Only 3 bid in Chhara LNG re-gasification race

Vol 20, PW 20 (29 Jun 17) Midstream & Downstream

This time last year it looked as if Hindustan Petroleum and Shapoorji Pallonji would be flooded with EPC offers to build the 5m t/y Chhara LNG terminal in Gujarat.

But now only three bidders are left in the race to set up re-gas facilities. By the extended June 15 deadline only Toyo Engineering, Sener with AFCONS, and CTCI with Cinda had bid.

Black & Veatch with Tata Projects, earlier expected to bid, is believed to have stayed away, but this could not be confirmed. Some speculate Tata Projects backed out leaving Black & Veatch scrambling for a replacement.

"Black & Veatch finally settled on Simplex Infrastructures," says a source. "But this change needed approval (from HPCL-Shapoorji Energy) which would have meant at least a month's delay.

Simplex would have also had queries on the project, delaying things further." HPCL and Shapoorji were unwilling to extend the regas bid deadline further given that separate bids for the LNG tanks had already been submitted. Black & Veatch executive director Rajiv Menon, when contacted, said: "We don't comment on our business strategy." On May 20, HPCL and Shapoorji received bids to set up two Chhara LNG tanks of 200,000 cubic metre capacity each from IHI with AFCONS and a consortium of Daewoo, POSCO and Vijay Tanks & Vessels.

"We haven't heard anything yet from HSEPL," said a bidder on June 27. "They're probably evaluating bids."