Vol 3, PW 11 (23 Jun 99) Midstream & Downstream

Repas-AEG of Germany has launched a diplomatic offensive of sorts against its disqualification in the tender for a SCADA (Supervisory Controlled Automated Data Acquisition) system for the 1,230-KM Jamnagar to Loni LPG pipeline belonging to the Gas Authority of India (GAIL).

Repas has asked the German embassy in Delhi to lodge a strong protest with Indias oil ministry against the GAIL decision to reject its bid because the tender documents were submitted ten minutes after the scheduled deadline. The delay, according to the company, happened because its representatives took some time figuring out the exact location of the tendering room in the imposing GAIL building.

Repas is pushing for a re-tender and is pointing out that bids put in by Dectra of Malaysia and Foxboro of Italy flouted tendering norms in that they had not furnished the required endorsement of their guarantees from Indian nationalised banks. Bids from these companies were accepted.

Another unexpected controversy surrounding the tender involves Engineers India Limited (EIL) which has been retained as consultants for the job by GAIL. EIL estimated the cost of putting up the SCADA system at Rs400m ($9.3m).

However, after the price bid was opened on 17 June it was discovered that the average bid for the project came to around Rs240m ($5.58m) The lowest bid - put in by Dectra of Malaysia - quoted only Rs150m ($3.4m). Oil ministry officials say this implies that either EIL is not a competent organisation, or the bidder is not serious about the job.