‘African Nightcrawler' used for vermicomposting at MRPL

‘African Nightcrawler' used for vermicomposting at MRPL

Mangalore Refinery Petrochemicals Ltd officials explain about vermicomposting unit to Sunil Kumar, joint secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, at MRPL. Credit: Special arrangement.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Joint Secretary (Refineries) Sunil Kumar inaugurated the first unit of Vermicomposting project of Mangalore Refinery Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) in the city on Monday.

The unit, with 90-tonne capacity per year, is the first of three large-scale vermicomposting units being set up by MRPL at a cost of Rs 140 lakh.

The MRPL is spread across 2,000 acres. It generates a significant amount of solid waste in the form of fallen leaves, cut grass, vegetable waste and office waste like paper. It had chosen vermicomposting technology as a means to convert nearly 90 tonnes of waste, generated per year, into 24 tonnes of manure or fertiliser per year, which is worth Rs 12 lakh.

This process thus not only helps the MRPL to manage its solid waste within its campus but also provides good quality manure for more than 500 acres of Green belt that it nurtures inside the refinery.

Kumar, who was on a visit, set the vermin composting process rolling and appreciated the excellent quality of the newly set up unit. He expressed his pleasure over the importance given by the MRPL towards environmentally sustainable solid waste management technology.

Special breed of worm used for vermicompsting

A special breed of worm - Eudrilus eugeniae - also called ‘African Nightcrawler’, is used for the vermin composting process. This earthworm species is native to tropical West Africa and is being chosen for this process due to its fecund growth and ability to decompost at the fastest rate. Each worm is capable of decomposting four kg of solid waste per day.

The MRPL officials, led by Managing Director M Venkatesh, explained to Kumar about the various environmental friendly initiatives being taken up by the refinery.