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Procurement delay hinders Uch gas development project

Baluchistan is a prolific province for provenance and abundance of gas reservoirs in Pakistan. The Uch Gas field was discovered in year 1955 located about 67 km southeast of Dera Bugti in Baluchistan by Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. Following a detailed study, OGDCL adopted a development plan to enhance the production capacity of the field to 220-380 MMCFD per day. It will be a slip-up not to mention here multifaceted humongous turmoil of energy crisis pestering number of Industries resulting in alarming deterioration of economy of the country directly.
The Uch Gas Development Project is one of the foremost significant projects to counter the menace of energy crisis as the idea was to supply 220-380 MMCFD gas per day to Uch Power Ltd thus enhancing the current production of Uch Power Ltd i.e 560 MW. Hence, the vitality of the Uch Gas Development Project is irrefutable and it must have been accomplished immaculately yielding fruitful results for the country and must have given special consideration.
The procurement process of most of the long head equipment is completed. Deliveries of various packages have been started. But on the other hand delivery of Hot Oil Package which is the imperative component of such projects is anxiously awaited whose enquiry was floated under tender No. PROC-FC/CB/PROJ-829/2013.
According to reports, the technical and commercial evaluations of the said tender were not carried out up to the standards and many of participants of the tender had clear reservations over the obvious reasons. The bidder M/S BSS who participated in the tender through its local agent M/S Gastech (Pvt.) Limited was awarded the contract despite lacking required relevant experience of executing identical projects and giving exceedingly prolonged delivery time not in line with the fundamental contract clauses. It is pertinent to mention here that Issue Date of L/C was November 1, 2013 and its expiry date is October 31, 2014. The delivery date committed by M/S Gastech was March 16th, 2014. But even after almost 09 months delay the delivery of Hot Oil Package is still pending. L/C duration is almost 11 months which is incredibly anomalous to regular dealings.
This blatantly indicates a lucid concurrence of some of the shady yet influential figures of OGDCL and the vendor. Thus, the trouncing consequences of such howler were vividly expected as the vendor failed to supply the package within due time as per contract that is believed to be March 16th, 2014 and in turn OGDCL has to bear a ponderous penalty of $244,000 per day maximum for 180 Days ($43.92 million).
OGDCL is a revered state owned company and a profitable organization and is a hallmark of professional excellence setting new standards in the E&P industry but the presence of malevolence elements in the Company is also an inevitable fact. A mechanism to carry out deep, independent and thorough investigations to look into matters of such critical importance must be devised as the country is still in rehabilitation phase and such scams will only let the country`s economy bleed. The losses are not confined to the penalty but have severe implications on Company`s repute .The threshold of the scam is not feeble, it continues to soar the Project massively with each passing day.
The contract of such unrecognized consultants after breaching the primary clauses of contract must be cancelled without a speck of delay and contract must be rewarded only to renowned and qualified consultant in all aspects fulfilling the required criteria in larger interest of the Project and company itself.
The ironic chapter continues to haunt the Project as no measures have yet been taken in this regard to probe and fix the bizarre practices responsible for the delay of such crucial venture. The relevant authorities must pay heed on these irregularities and holdup that triggered the unnecessary delay in the Project of national importance causing enormous hammering to Company.  
The author can be reached at <ahsanjamil87@gmail.com>
 


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