IndianOil re-issues controversial SPM tender

Vol 24, PW 12 (06 May 21) Midstream, Downstream, Renewables

Hardly two months after it controversially scrapped the tender, IndianOil is once again inviting bids to install a Single Point Mooring (SPM) system with pipelines at Vadinar offshore Gujarat.

IOC wants bid submissions between May 11 and 18 in the new tender, issued on April 20 (2021). Techno-commercial proposals will be opened on May 19 to select qualified bidders; the price bids of these qualified bidders will be opened later.

IOC held an online pre-bid on April 29 attended by L&T, Abu Dhabi-based NPCC, Valentine Maritime, Sapura Energy, Leighton Offshore, Boskalis India, Kreuz Subsea and Pyramid Oil & Gas from Malaysia. Some bidders welcome IOC's decision to split the technical qualification criteria.

To qualify, a bidder must have previously installed an offshore SPM with Pipeline End Manifold (PLEM) and/or laid a pipeline of minimum 36-inch diameter and three-km length to an offshore location in water depths of at least 25 metres. But unlike the earlier tender, IOC is happy if this experience is spread over two separate projects.

In the earlier tender, IOC insisted that bidders should have executed both activities in a single project. Better still, if a likely bidder has prior experience of just one of these activities, it will qualify provided it has an exclusive sub-contract or JV deal with another company with earlier hands-on experience of the other activity.

IOC's new tender also scraps the bid deposit requirement. But it's not all smiles.

Some bidders question IOC's demand for a 'performance bank guarantee' equivalent to 10% of the project value. They argue that fellow state-owned company ONGC has slashed this to 3% in line with a government directive on May 15 (2020) that PSUs should offer relief to companies hit by the Covid pandemic.