Paris visit for Petronet-LNG to finalise Kochi tender

Vol 11, PW 22 (20 Mar 08) Midstream & Downstream

Technical experts from Petronet-LNG will visit Paris next week for talks with strategic partner Gaz de France to finalise bid documents for the contract to build a 2.5m t/y LNG terminal at Kochi.

“Petronet-LNG is ready with the bid documents,â€‌ confirms a source. “GDF needs to vet them before they are sent to interested bidders.

â€‌ During the weeklong visit beginning March 24, both sides will hammer out the final tender packages that will be sent to bidders sometime in early April with a submission deadline in September. Barring any delays, Petronet-LNG would ideally like to award the contract by September 30.

“GdF has more experience in this than us,â€‌ adds a source. “As we are splitting the bid package in two it is better if the tender documents are reviewed by them.

Even the tender documents for the Kochi LNG storage tanks were vetted by GDF.â€‌ Next month on April 6, Petronet-LNG holds its â€کkick-off’ meeting with IHI, which has been awarded the contract to build the LNG tanks at Kochi.

Long considered a â€کstrategic partner’, GdF holds 10% equity in Petronet-LNG and is responsible for the Operations & Maintenance contract at the soon-to-be expanded Dahej LNG receiving terminal. Four companies have responded positively to last month’s Expression of Interest (EoI) request from Petronet-LNG for the Kochi terminal.

"We issued a global tender before," confirms a company source. "But nothing happened so this time we approached companies directly." Petronet-LNG declines to disclose the identity of interested parties except to confirm they are a “mixed bunchâ€‌ of European and South Korean contractors, with six interested in bidding for the regassification element of the contract and eight interested in the contract to build marine facilities.

This report learns that the four companies to have confirmed their interest in writing are KOGAS of South Korea; Larsen & Toubro; Kvaerner and Tecnicas Reunidas of Spain. KOGAS, in particular, is telling Petronet-LNG that it is ready to build both regassification and marine facilities.