Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) is operating its 15 million tonnes a year oil refinery in Karnataka at one-third of its capacity due to shortage in water supply.
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MRPL had planned to shutdown its hydrocracker unit from April 17 for 45-days for revamp. But,it had to advance the shutdown to April 13 due to water shortage,MRPL Managing Director U K Basu said today.
“The refinery is operating at 5-5.5 million tonnes capacity,” he said. The company may have to fully close the facility in five days if water supply was not restored.
The shortage is caused by declining availability of water in the neighbouring Nethravathi river.
“Right now there is no water supply. We expect some water supply to resume soon,” he said.
MRPL,a subsidiary of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC),was receiving around 5.5 mgd (million gallon daily) water from Nethravathi river.
Water availability in the Nethravathi river and its downstream dams started depleting from the end of March and the refinery is not getting any supplies currently,he said.
“As a result the district authorities enforced reduction of water supply to MRPL to one-third level and finally on April 11,2012,completely stopped the intake of water from the Nethravathi river,” he said.
Mangalore refinery has three crude units — Phase I of 4.68 million tonnes,Phase II of 7.14 million tonnes and Phase III of 3 million tonnes — and supplies oil products in southern states.
The shutdown would lead to shortage of supply of products to MRPL fed locations.
MRPL said it had reserve water to meet just one-and-a- half days of full load operation of the refinery.
“In order to overcome the situation and pulling on the resources for next couple of days till rainfall starts,it has been decided to shut down the Phase-II and Phase-II units with immediate effect,” the company said in a filing to the stock exchanges,adding the company continues to watch the situation and would initiate necessary action as deemed fit from time to time.
“There will be shortage of supply of products to MRPL fed locations,” it said.
Further,MRPL may have to incur additional demurrage on account of delay in unloading crudes because of ullage problem and loading of products.
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