The contract for the Indian Oil Corporation’s MEG plant in Panipat continues to generate heat and light. The letter of intent issued to US Multinational Dow Chemical was cancelled because of Dow’s ownership Union Carbide, the company responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy. Dow was trying to sell the IOC a Union Carbide patented technology but had lied about the process in its submission.
The contract has now been given to another US company Scientific Design. This has ignited a protest from the consortium of Petron Scientech Inc, Engineers India Ltd and CRI International Inc (a subsidiary of Shell). The consortium protests that it had offered the “most economical and competitive process” for the MEG plant and claims that had IOC adopted its technology, it would have ended up saving Rs 80-90 crore every year. The IOC says that the consortium was disqualified on grounds of inadequate experience.
We suggest that all the tenders should be publicly re-examined by independent experts and that those who originally chose Dow and now Scientific Design should have their motives and bank accounts subjected to the minutest scrutiny.