The controversy, which hit the previous tender for urea import, has forced the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to further modify the tender”s terms and conditions. Sources told Business Recorder on Friday that in order to avoid any new controversy, the state-run grain trader has modified terms and conditions for urea import tender, issued on July 10, 2013. As per new terms and conditions, now all bidders will be required to quote a single price in US dollar for all ports instead of different rates for discharge ports.
Recently, the TCP has invited bids for the import of about 300,000 tons of urea and tender will be opened on July 17, 2013. “The unpleasant experience in the previous urea import tender has compelled the TCP management to further improve the tender”s terms and conditions for up coming urea import,” sources said. TCP had faced some controversy in the previous urea import tender, opened on June 5, 2013, as the lowest bidder submitted bid for Gwadar port only and tender award committee declaring the lowest bidder non-responsive, awarded tender to the second lowest bidder.
In the last urea import tender, some 15 international bidders/suppliers submitted their offers and prices quoted in the range from $335 per metric ton to $371 per ton Cost and Freight (C&F). M/s Toepfer International was lowest bidder, which offered to supply 50,000 tons of urea at a price of $335 per metric tons through Gwadar port and following the tender terms and conditions also deposited a bid bond of $570,000.
The second lowest bid of $337.17 per metric ton was submitted by M/s Trammo for the supply some quantity through Gwadar, Karachi and Bin Qasim. However, the TCP, declaring the first lowest bid non-responsive, awarded 50,000 tons of urea import contract to the second lowest bidder, which quoted $2.17 higher price compared to first lowest. Later the ministry of commerce intervened in the matter and accordingly the tender was awarded to the first lowest bidder, which later regretted to comply with the contract on technical basis.
In view of the previous experience, the TCP decided to further modify the tender”s terms and conditions. The clause 4(A), which described the price quoting process, has been changed and a new clause has been added by the management. “Clause 4.(A) -The price shall be quoted in US dollar per metric on C&F (Free Out) for all Pakistani Ports as per Bid Form (Annex-1),” as per new terms and conditions. While previously it said “The price shall be quoted in US dollar per metric on C&F separately for Gwadar, and Karachi or Port Qasim (Annex-1).”
In addition a new clause 4 (C) has also been added in the terms and conditions to further clarify the price quoting process. Clause 4.(C) says, “only single rate to be quoted by the bidder for all the discharge ports in Pakistan. The discharge port will be subject to clause 3(F). According to clause 3(F) the port of arrival and discharge will be any port in Pakistan as designated by TCP and TCP reserves the right to divert vessel to any specific port in Pakistan.
Sources said that bidder also faced some trouble to get tender documents as TCP announced to issue tender documents from July 11, however till Thursday evening tender documents were not available at cash counter for sale. TCP started sale of tender documents from Friday and till evening some 10 documents were sold through cash counter of the corporation.
They said for the first time the TCP fixed minimum quantity of 75,000 tons for urea import tender, while in previous all tenders minimum quantity was not more than 50,000 tons. It may be mentioned here that following the federal government directives on last Wednesday the state-run grain trader has issued an international gallop urea tender for the import of 300,000 tons to avoid any shortfall in domestic market.