GAIL reconstitutes original consortia for completion of Dabhol Terminal

New Delhi: GAIL has successfully managed to reconstitute the original EPC consortia in a major development towards achieving early completion of the Dabhol LNG Terminal. The consortia will undertake completion of the balance works under the active supervision of two project management consultants being engaged in this regard. NTPC is also roping in GE for the completion of the power plant facilities.

The construction of the LNG terminal was abandoned in June 2001, when the Dabhol project ran into contractual problems. Thereafter, the Indian lenders had engaged Tractebel of Belgium to assess the condition of the facilities and develop a preservation regime for the entire project. In April 2002, Punj Lloyd Limited was engaged to undertake preservation of the project facilities and since then, the arrangement is continuing.

Originally, Lingtec, which was an Enron affiliate, was awarded the main EPC contract for constructing the LNG terminal along with the marine facilities. In turn, Lingtec had awarded two EPC sub-contracts. The first contract pertaining to the regasification, tankage and utilities at the LNG terminal was awarded to a consortium comprising of Kvaerner and Whessoe, both of the UK and Punj Lloyd Limited. The second contract pertaining to the marine facilities comprising of the jetty, approach channel and breakwater was awarded to a consortium of Besix of Belgium and Kier of the UK. When the construction work was abandoned, the facilities were complete to an extent of about 75 per cent.

The absence of engineering database of the project and the issues related to the ownership of the Intellectual Property Rights of the technical documentation of the project were major bottlenecks in the restart of the construction activities. With the reconstitution of the consortia, these problems have been solved to a large extent. Besides, in view of many new build opportunities for LNG terminal projects, EPC contractors do not feel inclined to undertake abandoned jobs lying idle for four years and also guarantee the performance of the same.

Hence, erstwhile contractors are best suited to pick up such threads and complete the job and GAIL's efforts in this regard have paid off. The terminal contractors are generally satisfied with the state of preservation of the facilities and the completion of balance works is targeted to be completed by July 2006.