MRPL’s desalination unit to be ready next year

MRPL MD M Venkatesh speaks to mediapersons in Mangaluru on Saturday.

In order to tide over the water crisis arising during peak summer, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) will set up a sea water desalination plant at an estimated cost of Rs 620 crore, MRPL Managing Director M Venkatesh said.

“The unit with a capacity of 7 Million Gallons of permeate per day, is expected to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2020.”

Venkatesh told mediapersons on Saturday that to meet the water requirement for the next summer, the MRPL was attempting to hire containerised desalination units with a capacity of 2 MGD.

“The acute water shortage in May this year led to the shutting down of the phase 1 and phase III of MRPL.”

With the coordination of PSU oil companies, the MRPL ensured uninterrupted oil supply in the market. “We ensured that the supplies did not dry up. All the 3 MGD treated sewage from Kavoor STP is lifted by MRPL for its internal consumption. MRPL is keen on increasing the use of treated municipal sewage from present 3 MGD per day,” he explained.

“Wet wells constructed by the MCC are dysfunctional and leaking at a few places, including in Kudroli. The MCC had taken up repair works of the wet wells. Once the wet wells are repaired, we might get additional 1 MGD treated water. The fresh water consumption in MRPL refineries is 10 MGD to 12 MGD. We want to reduce the dependence on fresh water from river,” he added.

The MRPL is also working on watershed management of lakes in Karkala and Moodbidri. It will give emphasis on rejuvenation of lakes, he added.

Crude oil from US

Venkatesh said the MRPL had purchased US-produced Thunder Horse 1 million barrel crude oil. The oil is likely to arrive in Mangaluru in the first week of October. The purchase of crude oil from US is logistically viable as well, he said.

The MRPL has also tested crude from Mangala field at Rajasthan. Though the crude is heavier, MRPL could handle it comfortably, said Director(Refineries) M Vinay Kumar. On MRPL phase IV, Venkatesh said that the land acquisition process through KIADB was on.

Retail outlets

The MD said that there was positive response for MRPL’s retail outlets. The MRPL is expanding its retail presence and plans to open 251 retail outlets in Karnataka and Kerala in the next couple of years. Of which, 50 to 60 outlets will be opened in Karnataka in the next one year.

BS-VI fuel

The MRPL is gearing up to roll out BS-VI fuel under the auto fuel policy, Venkatesh said. The MRPL’s BS-VI project is being executed at a cost of Rs 1,810 crore and is expected to get commissioned in February 2020. “With this, sulfur in petrol and diesel will be 10 ppm as against present 50 ppm,” he added.

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