(Reuters) – Golar Power said on Friday that it rejects the process that culminated in its disqualification by Petrobras of a bid to lease a regasification terminal for the state-owned company in Bahia, and stressed that it will file an appeal to return participate in the dispute.
If this is not enough, the company also said it could take other measures to reverse Petrobras’ decision.
The company said that it “vehemently refutes Petrobras’ decision to change the Degree of Integrity Risk (GRI) that led to the disqualification of Golar Power’s proposal”.
Golar also said that it was “the only company to present a proposal at the event, in an amount exceeding 130 million reais (established by Petrobras), for believing in the commitment to open the natural gas market signed between Cade (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) and Petrobras ”.
According to the company, Petrobras’ decision was made even before Golar Power filed the responses to the Integrity Due Diligence Questionnaire in a timely manner, requested by the oil company itself to all participants as part of the leasing process.
“Golar Power is not the subject of any criminal investigation or investigation and clarifies that it has no relationship, participation or involvement in the public allegations disclosed by the media about the alleged irregularities committed by an executive who no longer exercises a function in the company, as disclosed to the market “, said.
The disqualification announcement came after executive Roberto Antonello was quoted in a Lava Jato investigation. He stepped down from the presidency of Hygo Energy, a joint venture with the participation of Golar LNG and the US private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners.
Antonello’s defense said this week in an e-mail note that false allegations of corruption made by confessed criminals were released prematurely and without evidence by Brazilian authorities, with unfair reputation damage for the executive.
The Federal Police last week conducted a surprise search operation against Antonello’s former employer, Seadrill, at addresses that included Golar’s offices in Brazil, in the most recent phase of the Lava Jato operation.
For the company, “Petrobras is wrong in relating the Golar Power group to the investigation, which has caused and has been causing damage to the Golar Power group”.
The company reported that the alleged facts and allegations attributed to the removed executive occurred in 2010, six years before the very creation of Golar Power by a North American investment fund and a Norwegian company, “both with a high standard of diligence against corruption” , according to her.
“It is noteworthy that, as soon as the company became aware of the existence of the investigation, it started, in a proactive and immediate way, an independent investigation process and accepted the executive’s removal request”.
On Thursday night, Petrobras said that a high Degree of Integrity Risk (GRI) was attributed to the company Golar Power Comercializador de Gas Natural, implying the disqualification of the company from the event by the LNG terminal.
The risk assessment, which is foreseen in the bidding notice, reached the company that would have made the biggest offer for the terminal lease, as reported by Reuters the day before, with two sources with knowledge of the situation.
According to Petrobras, BP Energy do Brasil and Compass Gás e Energia, of the Cosan group, also showed interest in the bidding process.
In the case of BP, Petrobras said that the company registered a request to postpone the opening of commercial proposals in order to eventually resolve pending issues and consign that it intends to submit its responses to the integrity questionnaire to allow Petrobras to grade the company’s integrity risk.
“At the time, BP informed that the commercial proposal to be presented would be indicative and not binding, having not signed the declaration of compliance with the requirements of the public notice, an essential document of the bidding process,” said Petrobras, adding that, faced with such facts , no commercial proposal was received.
Compass Gás e Energia presented a declining letter of presentation of the commercial proposal, according to Petrobras. “In addition, it informed that it has already sent the completed integrity form to Petrobras and corroborates the importance of compliance and assessment of the company’s integrity risk rating.”
Petrobras also said that the bidding process has entered its appeal phase, and if the event is closed without valid proposals having been obtained by the company, a new bidding process will be carried out.