HPCL throws open CDU/VDU tender to 'everyone'

Vol 22, PW 11 (21 Mar 19) Midstream & Downstream

Never before has Hindustan Petroleum allowed such a wide range of experience for a refinery unit tender as for its Barmer project in Rajasthan, according to industry sources.

"Typically, refinery, petrochemical, chemical or fertiliser sector experience is required," we hear. But in its tender for an estimated Rs1500cr ($214m) contract to set up a Crude Distillation Unit and a Vacuum Distillation Unit for the proposed 9m t/y refinery, HPCL is ready to accept bidders with experience of at least one new process plant in any of the following sectors: refineries, petrochemicals, onshore and offshore oil and gas processing facilities, chemicals, fertiliser, metallurgy (ferrous) or LNG.

In addition to expected bidders L&T and Petrofac, these relaxed conditions open the race to Tata Projects, AFCONS, Black & Veatch and others. "Metallurgy sector experience is designed for Tata Projects which has done Tata Steel (factory) projects but otherwise is totally unrelated to the refinery sector," we hear.

"Even onshore or offshore oil and gas or LNG sector work is different from oil refinery facilities. Onshore or offshore oil and gas or LNG facilities usually have a few pipelines laid on open land or in the sea, unlike a refinery where working space is limited with pipelines and process units densely packed together."

All that these bidders from unrelated sectors need do to qualify is to hire an engineering sub-contractor with refinery, petrochemical or fertiliser sector experience, says the Barmer refinery CDU/VDU tender.