The Supreme Court set aside a Delhi High Court order which had allowed Ansaldo Caldaie Boilers India Pvt. to bid for a tender for equipment supply to NTPC Ltd.
The verdict has gone in favour of NTPC, which had earlier rejected Ansaldo Caldaie’s bid to supply equipments worth for its power plants’ expansion after finding that the latter did not meet the minimum qualifying requirements set out in the Bid documents.
Ansaldo Caldaie then challenged this decision.
Last March, the High Court had directed NTPC to permit Ansaldo Caldaie to go to the subsequent stage of price bids and to take part in the technical discussions for the contract. NTPC then moved the apex court against this decision.
The case pertained to NTPC’s bids for the supply and installation of Steam Generator package for captive coal-based Thermal Power Projects in different areas in the country.
However, it found that the ‘Qualified Steam Generator Manufacturer’, Ansaldo Caldaie, Italy, proposed by Ansaldo Caldaie did not have the necessary minimum qualification, as was required in terms of the Bid documents.
The main issue for consideration before the apex court was whether Ansaldo Caldaie, Italy, can be said to be a Qualified Steam Generator Manufacturer within the definition set out in the detailed Invitation for Bids.
The apex court order pointed out that from the terms and conditions of NTPC’s MoU, “It appears that it was (NTPC’s) intention that the Qualified Steam Generator Manufacturer would have to be the manufacturer of the evaporator itself and could not have outsourced the manufacture to a third party, since the evaporator controlling the pressure of the steam generated is a vital and crucial component of the Steam Generator itself.”
The court then found that the evaporator offered by Ansaldo Caldaie was one which had been manufactured not by the Qualified Steam Generator Manufacturer, but by a third party, which was not contemplated in the condition of the Tender Documents.
It said the process for bids will continue.
Ansaldo Caldaie is a joint venture between Gammon India Ltd and Italy’s Ansaldo Caldaie SpA.
NTPC’s power expansion plans included giving an order for 11 units of steam generators of 660 MW each for its projects at Meja, Nabinagar, Raghunathpur, Solapur and Mouda.