Mystery fax from Hyundai sparks ONGC inquiry

Vol 7, PW 7 (18 Jun 03) News in Brief

ONGC is investigating a bogus offer purporting to be from Hyundai Heavy Industries to slash its bid price for construction of the Mumbai South Process platform.

On 10th June, ONGC was pleasantly surprised to receive a fax from what appeared to be Hyundai offering to reduce the $228m bid price by $5.5m. Hyundai's unsolicited "new offer" astonished ONGC officials because a few hours earlier on the same day the Korean company had agreed to reduce its bid price by only $225,000! Overjoyed, ONGC faxed Hyundai a Letter of Intent on the same evening only to receive a fax back the next morning from Hyundai categorically denying that it had offered to reduce its bid price by $5.5m! Puzzled, ONGC has launched an internal inquiry overseen personally by Nathu Lal, ONGCs director technology and field services.