ISLAMABAD: The government has dropped plan of awarding a multimillion-dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal contract to a company and has allowed all five companies to participate in bidding.
According to media, the move came after the Ministry of Maritime Affairs decided to approach the government for invoking the extreme urgency clause under Rule 42(d) for the award of contract on negotiated tendering.
The scrapping of the clause could have allowed the ministry to give contract to one company, but the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) opposed its abolition, saying that energy crisis was not an unsolvable event for which extreme urgency could be invoked.
The federal cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on July 9, took up the matter and discussed recommendations of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for establishing the third offshore LNG terminal on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis at Port Qasim in order to overcome LNG shortage in future.
The ECC had proposed the grant of exemption from PPRA rules and permitting one company to participate in bidding for the LNG terminal. However, the officials said cabinet members opposed the exemption and argued that the process should be transparent. They were of the view that all five companies interested in setting up the third LNG terminal should be allowed to participate in the bidding process.