GAIL scraps tender for three domestic LNG carriers

Mumbai: GAIL India Ltd has scrapped a tender that would have led to the construction of three liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers at Indian shipyards.

The government-owned gas importer had given domestic shipyards time until February 17 to put in their bids, but none could fulfill the basic condition that they had to have a tie-up in place with an overseas yard for the requisite technology.

The tender had been floated on August 1 last year, and subsequently extended thrice to give Indian yards the opportunity of tying up with a foreign yard for building three LNG vessels out of the nine that GAIL required to transport gas from the US over a 20-year period, starting September 2017.

Three Indian yards – the state-run Cochin Shipyard, L&T Shipbuilding and Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Co – had initiated talks with top Korean and Japanese shipyards, but none of them could manage to have a tie-up in place before the final date of the tender.

The scrapping of the tender was a major setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet ‘Make in India’ theme, which aims to transform the country into a manufacturing powerhouse for creating jobs and boosting exports.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.
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