SIKANDER SHAHEEN ISLAMABAD - The much-delayed Uch Gas Field Development Project was finally awarded to a Singapore based company in a public bid opened on Wednesday. The project was bid at $ 188 million. Petrosin Group of Companies, a Singapore based multinational company, working in energy sector was announced as the lowest bidder for the Uch Gas Field Development Project, on the basis of which, it was awarded the project. Other potential competitors were the SPEC International, which quoted approximately $ 225 million and Presson Descon International Limited (PDIL) that quoted about $ 279 million. The bidding process for the Uch Gas Field Development Project had seen many twists and turns. This project was last tendered in 2009, and resulted in all bidders been disqualified other than one company. Before the same company's sole bid was to be opened and to be declared the winner for the project, the issue was unearthed in press which resulted in Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) revisiting its decision of allowing a single bid to be opened and the then board of directors of OGDCL decided to retender the project. But this did not work and even after retendering, the project became highly controversial again on the grounds that the project had a special criterion for evaluation which allowed 70 per cent points for technical proposal and 30 per cent points for the price submitted by bidders. In the technical evaluation, three bidders include Petrosin, PDIL and SPEC were declared technically qualified while one bidder, Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), was declared as disqualified. For the technical qualification, the minimum points to be obtained by the bidders were 52.5 out of 70 in order to be declared technically qualified. The PDIL was awarded 60.10 points, Petrosin 53.23 points and SPEC 52.98 points. Under this system, the PDIL had an advantage of securing the project even if its bid was as much as $ 50 million higher than Petrosin's bid due to the point difference on the technical grounds. However, in the bid opening on Wednesday, the differential between the bids was greater than the benefit allowed in the point evaluation system. Sources in the OGDCL informed this scribe that after the formal evaluation of the financial bids of bidders, a report would be put up to the Board of Directors of OGDCL, and upon approval of the board, the contract execution would take place. It is expected that the project would be completed by third quarter of 2012 for supply of gas to the power plants resulting in additional power capacity of more than 400 mega watts to the national grid. The OGDCL owns Uch gas field, located in Dera Bugti, Balochistan. It operated phase-I of Uch gas field and supplied gas to Uch Power Plant, which produced 586 mega watts per day. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $ 100 million in loan for the construction of 404 megawatts Uch-II power plant to Uch Power Limited (UPL) with the approval of additional $ 50 million as political risk guarantee for the power plant project, which is expected to be completed by 2013.