Navratna EIL mega refinery project worth $35 billion under CVC lens for contract to Dubai company IHS

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New Delhi | Published: August 4, 2017 12:19:00 PM

A refinery project worth $35-billion on the west coast has run into trouble as the CVC has initiated paperwork for a CBI probe into alleged bias by project consultant and Engineers India Ltd in selecting the agency for conducting the feasibility study.

 Navratna EIL, Navratna EIL refinery project, Navratna EIL refinery project cvc, Navratna EIL refinery project news 2017, Navratna EIL refinery project cbi probeThe CBI will be probing the selection of Dubai-based IHS for the market and pricing study. (Representational image/ Reuters)

A mega project of building a refinery worth $35-billion on the west coast has run into trouble as the Central Vigilance Commission has initiated paperwork for a CBI probe into alleged bias by project consultant and Engineers India Ltd in selecting the agency for conducting the feasibility study, according to Indian Express. The project is in its initial stage. The CBI will be probing the selection of Dubai-based IHS for the market and pricing study as Engineers India Ltd (EIL) had allegedly ignored its internal enquiry report according to which the selection violated both the tender procedure and technical evaluation of bids, the report added. IHS, an analytical firm that conducts study on strategy and operations, was awarded the 12-week study contract for US $973,000.

Last week, a two-member team was sent by CVC to collect all documents related to the tender from EIL. A CVC official said,”This is the usual practice before handing over the probe to CBI.” The report studying the pre-feasibility of pricing for crude, as well as marketing of fuel products and petrochemicals is important as it determines the project’s viability. The project came under CVC lens when on May 4 EIL’s Independent External Monitors (IEM) recommended cancellation of the tender for hiring IHS as it found “procedural as well as evaluation irregularity” in its selection, as per IE. The IEM which has former bureaucrats and technocrats in its two-member committee evaluates contracts and tenders independently on receiving complaints. According to IEM, EIL did not follow the transparent way in inviting bids instead of following the recommendation of its own inquiry panel, EIL decided to proceed with awarding the contract to IHS, the Indian Express report said.

It is also alleged that chairman and managing director of EIL, Sanjay Gupta tried to close the issue saying that there had been “no supplementary” from the IEM “to settle the matter”. On July 21, he wrote.”A closure report on the subject must be finalized quickly to amicably resolve the subject. This may be treated as urgent please.” However, the IEM’s May 4 report was categorical that the tender be canceled in the public and EIL’s interest, the report added.

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