Maoist threat to proposed IOC pipeline

Vol 14, PW 10 (04 Nov 10) Midstream & Downstream

Maoist insurgents waging a class war in India’s eastern states strike fear into the hearts and minds of many, but IndianOil bosses appear oblivious to the dangers.

PETROWATCH learns IOC is confident a proposed 1120-km product pipeline from its under-construction Paradip refinery in Orissa can be ‘mechanically ready’ and commissioned by November next year. One branch will run from the 15m t/y refinery to Ranchi - the capital of Maoist-hit Jharkhand – while another will run to Raipur in Chhattisgarh, another Maoist hotbed.

IOC held a pre-bid at its pipeline division head office in Noida on October 18 attended by 12 pipeline laying contractors. Up to nine are expected to submit bids by the November 10 deadline: Kalpa-Taru, KazStroy, Jaihind Projects, Corrtech, Essar, Punj Lloyd, Unity Infrastructure, Fernas and Maytas Infra.

“IOC originally wanted us to submit bids on October 26,” says one. “All of us refused as it would have been impossible to prepare a bid in eight days.

” IOC has divided the total 1120-km pipeline length into three smaller pipeline stretches of approximately 350-km each. Companies can bid for one or more of these 350-km groups, but they cannot bid for any stretch less than 350-km.

This is to deter smaller pipeline companies from winning contracts with unworkable quotes who then delay the project because they lack experience. “Small contractors will not take any pipe-laying job over 350-km,” we are told.

IOC wants all pipeline-laying work completed in 15 months from the date of award. IndianOil floated this pipeline laying tender on September 26, and around the same time selected four pipe manufacturers to supply up to 80,000-tonnes of steel pipe for the project by June, 2011.

PSL will supply 18-inch diameter pipe while Jindal Saw will supply 16-inch diameter pipe, Surya Roshni will supply 12-inch pipe and Welspun will supply 14-inch and 10-inch pipe.

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