Sapura rejects L&T Daman tender criticism

Vol 20, PW 23 (10 Aug 17) Exploration & Production
     

Sapura Offshore has dismissed what some describe as a cynical attempt by Larsen & Toubro to get it disqualified from ONGC's Daman development project, left unfinished by financially distressed Swiber.

Only Sapura and L&T bid on July 20 for this estimated $100m project. Sources with direct knowledge tell us L&T wrote to ONGC around July 28, claiming the Malaysian EPC contractor should be disqualified for submitting an unaudited financial report from accountants Ernst & Young instead of an audited report as demanded by the tender.

Sapura told ONGC in early August that because its financial year ends on January 31 its latest audited financial report will not be available until after January 31, 2018. Sapura instead submitted a report up to date until June 2017, promising to submit a fully audited financial report from E&Y when available.

Sapura reportedly also offered a bank guarantee from parent Sapura Energy, which on July 25 (last month) reported a profit after tax of RM206 million ($48m) for the fiscal ended January 31, 2017. Now ONGC's Executive Purchase Committee must decide whether to disqualify Sapura .

A Committee meeting scheduled for August 3 did not happen and another was penciled in August 9. Some believe L&T is in no position to criticise Sapura, claiming the Indian blue chip contractor is poorly equipped for the Daman project.

"Unlike Sapura," says a Sapura supporter, "L&T doesn't own barges and vessels and must hire them, increasing costs."

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