Doubts on Reliance's intention for Central India Pipeline

Vol 6, PW 11 (31 Jul 02) News in Brief

Prophets of doom are forecasting sabotage by vested interests of Petronet-India's proposal for the cross-country Central India Pipeline.

Three bidders: Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro and Sun Securities-Stroytransgaz must submit price bids by 21st August. Yet market gossip suggests Petronet will be forced to extend the deadline as Reliance Industries - the hot favourite - will ask for an extension before the deadline expires.

Reliance, it seems, views plans to lay the pipeline as competition for its own plans to lay a competing pipeline along the same route. "Reliance sought about 150 modifications in the bid documents but were granted only a few," reveals a source.

"They will use this pretext to seek an extension. Their aim is to ultimately kill the Petronet project." Larsen & Toubro has been unsuccessful in finding a prospective partner for the project, while Sun Securities is not seen as serious.

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