The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, apparently disturbed by delays, has asked the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to award fuel supply contract to Pakistan State Oil (PSO), which is the highest and qualified bidder for oil supply to the New Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad.
“PSO is eligible and a qualified bidder, therefore, it should be awarded contract to supply fuel to the New Benazir Bhutto International Airport,” sources said, quoting a letter written by the petroleum ministry to CAA.
“CAA’s delay and the intention to appoint technical/financial consultants, as appearing in the media, may result in violation of PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) rules as it was a single-stage bidding process and evaluation criteria were already part of the bidding documents,” a petroleum ministry official said, adding criteria could not be changed after the bidding.
However, CAA spokesman Pervez George said financial evaluation of PSO was under way, which would be tabled before its board for approval. He made no further comments.
At the public opening of bids on March 28, PSO was declared the successful bidder for establishing fuel farm and operation as well as maintenance of hydrant refuelling system at the New Benazir Bhutto International Airport.
Attock Petroleum Limited (APL) submitted a bid of 40 paisa per litre of hydrant access charge while PSO offered a bid of 101 paisa per litre. As a result, PSO was declared the highest bidder in line with the laid-down criteria. In its bid letter, Shell, however, declined to participate in the bidding.
“CAA is citing the evaluation of bids by financial experts as the cause of continuous delay, but the aviation regulator requires no expert to translate and read the single highest bid of PSO,” the petroleum ministry official commented.
Infrastructure Project Development Facility (IPDF), a company working under the Ministry of Finance, acted as a consultant to CAA. In April 2011, IPDF and CAA sent a request to oil marketing companies, asking them to apply for pre-qualification as bidders for establishing fuel farm and operation as well as maintenance of hydrant refuelling system at the Benazir Bhutto Airport.
The main criterion for pre-qualification was a minimum seven years of experience in aviation business. After evaluation, Shell, PSO and APL were pre-qualified and declared eligible to move to the next step – submission of drawings and design as well as bids for the project.
According to sources, APL had no experience of operations at the airport or running and maintaining fuel farm or hydrant system. The company, however, indicated that it had applied as a consortium with a German firm.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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