MRPL begins shutdown as water scarcity hits refinery

Supply of petrol, diesel may be affected in state

MRPL begins shutdown as water scarcity hits refinery

The supply of petrol and diesel in the state may be affected soon as the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) has begun to shut down the refinery’s phase-III units as Dakshina Kannada district is facing acute water scarcity.

MRPL director (refinery) M Venkatesh, who attended the meeting chaired by district incharge Minister B Ramanath Rai at the DC office, told reporters that the company had started the shutdown on Thursday evening.

The Dakshina Kannada district administration has suspended water supply to MRPL and other industries in the region for seven days (from April 26) after the authorities concerned realised that the water level at Thumbe vented dam (which provides drinking water to Mangaluru) had reduced drastically.

On May 3, the district administration extended its order to suspend water supply to industries for another 10 days. Though MRPL had earlier shut down FCC (fluidised catalytic cracking) and polypropylene units, it did not affect production of petrol, diesel or LPG as polypropylene is used in the manufacture of plastic and various types of moulds.

If water scarcity continues for a few more days, MRPL may have to stop its operations completely just as it did in 2012 for similar reasons, thus affecting the supply of petrol, diesel and LPG in the state. MRPL produces around 5 lakh tonnes of diesel, 1 lakh tonnes of petrol and 75,000 tonnes of LPG a month. The MRPL is, at present, using domestic treated water and the water recycled at the plant for operations.

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