Extension for NTPCآ’s Kawas and Gandhar gas tender

Vol 8, PW 2 (21 Apr 04) Midstream & Downstream

With luck this will be the last extension for NTPCs two-year-old tender for 3m t/y gas or LNG at Kawas and Gandhar.

The new date to submit revised price bids is 14th May. This time NTPC is not at fault.

Shell and Total affiliate Yemen LNG separately sought the extension. Both told NTPC that 27th April is too short a time and requested that the date be extended to 18th May.

After consulting the other bidders (Reliance, Petronas and Petronet-LNG), NTPC agreed. The other bidders had no objection to another extension, reveals a source.

Especially since matters had reached such an advanced stage. We learn NTPC took a decision, at the highest level to grant this extension.

On 12th April, all bidders received a two-line letter from NTPC informing them of the May extension. We hope this will be the last extension, reveals a source.

We were ready to receive the price bids on 27th April. We hope nobody asks for another extension.

Nuisance it might be, but this latest extension neatly suits NTPC as India is in the midst of general elections that begin on 20th April and end on 10th May. Counting will begin on 13th May and a new government is expected to take charge around 17th May.

NTPCs political bosses in the power ministry could face embarrassing questions if during the campaign it emerges that the winning natural gas or LNG price for Kawas and Gandhar translates into higher electricity tariffs. A power ministry source strenuously denies any link between elections and the Kawas-Gandhar tender.

NTPC has the autonomy to take these business decisions alone, he adds. Theres no link with politics.

Whatever the truth, dont expect a contract signing anytime soon, even if NTPC receives price bids on 14th May. Bids will be opened only seven days later to give NTPC time to check if the bidders have complied with its 14th March amendments.

NTPC wants each bidder to send a letter confirming compliance with all the amended tender terms. Non-compliance will result in an unopened bid.