Libya-London News: The contract won by the South Korean “LG Petrochemical Limited” to develop the Zawiya refinery, worth 300 million euros, has a story.
When the bid was put up, it sparked intense competition between a number of international companies, including the German KRUPP UHDA and the French TACHNIP. Behind each company – as usual – was a group of beneficiaries at the highest levels in the management of the oil sector and in other departments within the system. And each group – of course – paid the contract to the company that supported it, which would generate commissions and bribes in the tens of millions.
The usual procedure is to conduct a tender and submit bids and then refer them to the National Oil Corporation for study and consideration in consultation with the concerned Libyan company. After that, the decision is issued by the National Oil Corporation to announce the winner.
The Zawia Oil Company, which runs the refinery, preferred that the French company Technip take over the project, and informed the National Oil Corporation of this. Accordingly, the Foundation issued what is known in the world of contracts and trade as a “letter of intent” and sent it to the French company. The letter of intent is an expression of agreement in principle to accept the submitted offer and award the contract to the company to which it is addressed. In commercial practice, it is considered binding on both parties, provided that it does not violate the terms of the contract or tender Without Prejudice…etc.
However, the Koreans, as soon as they received the news, stirred up a severe storm and established the world and did not sit in it. Koreans are known to be among the most corrupt commercial dealers and rely on bribes and exaggerated commissions. Through the group supporting them in the oil sector, they exerted severe pressure on the Corporation to cancel its decision and award the contract to the Korean company. Among the company’s clients was an Egyptian broker (no need to mention his name) working for that group, so he contacted the competing companies asking them to support the Korean company, otherwise it would be deprived of contracts, deals and other business in Libya!!
Suddenly it was announced that the Korean company had won the contract, even though it was fourth in the ranking in terms of high costs, and despite the fact that the Zawiya Company and the Oil Corporation support the French Technip Company, and despite the issuance of the letter of intent by the corporation in favor of the French company.
According to private sources, Technip is currently studying the possibility of suing the Libyan government in the person of the National Oil Corporation for violating what was stated in the letter of intent, which is binding in international commercial norms and laws.