Russia wants Pakistan to award Gazprom the pipeline-laying contract without bidding
Friday, February 17, 2012: Despite fierce opposition from United States of America, Pakistan has decided to go forth with Pak-Iran gas pipeline project. Russia, however, seems to be in favour of the project and has asked Pakistan
to award Gazprom – Russian based energy company- the pipeline-laying contract without bidding.
The gas pipeline-laying between Pakistan and Iran is estimated to cost somewhere around $1.2 billion and Russia wants the energy giants to capture this contract without any biddings. The Russians have even given incentives to Pakistan
in this regard.
An official from Russia said, “If Pakistan accepts the demand of Russia and awards the contract to Gazprom, the largest explorer of natural gas in the world, Moscow (the capital of Russia) will also provide financing for the project.”
The official further said, “However, Pakistan has not shown any willingness to grant the contract without inviting bids from competing parties, which will violate its Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.”
In Pakistan, awarding contracts is a lengthy process and is done in accordance with rules laid out by PPRA. According to the rules, the government first issues a tender and then various companies, operating in that field, bid for
the project. The contract is awarded to company that technically qualify for the project and offers the lowest cost.
An undisclosed source within the petroleum ministry has revealed that Russia expressed interest in the Iran pipeline project, but he did not confirm whether Moscow sought the contract for Gazprom without bidding.
Pakistan has already formally invited the Russian giant Gazprom to participate in two multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline projects – Iran-Pakistan and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipelines.
The US has imposed sanctions on Iran due to suspicions over its nuclear programme while Tehran insists that its programme is peaceful and meant for energy supply. Though Russian authorities expressed worry over the US pressure,
they supported Iran and Pakistan in pushing ahead with the project.