The aim is to increase the processing capacity of the refinery

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) , is waiting for a quick completion of its captive power plant. The commissioning of all the units under Phase III of its project hinges on the functioning of the power plant. P. P. Upadhya, the new Chairman and Managing Director, who took over from U.K.Basu on July 1, told The Hindu on Wednesday that MRPL had been 'pushing' Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) to finish the plant soon.

BHEL has undertaken the long-term turnkey job of building the power plant for MRPL, a subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. “The BHEL power plant has to get into operation.” It (BHEL) had said that the power plant would be ready by July but that was doubtful, he said. The upcoming captive power plant will havea generating capacity of 110 MW, and will enable MRPL to commission its units instantly instead of in instalments. At present, five gas turbines generating 85 MW power and steam are being used for all operations.

He said the focus would be on starting with two projects — the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) and the `coker’ units - as they consumed the most energy. (The ‘coker’ processes heavy residual oil into gas and diesel with petroleum coke as a residue.)

“The greatest challenge for us is the next six months. Phase III has been our bread and butter…the margin driver…it will drive our future business”, he said.

The aim of the Phase III expansion is to increase the processing capacity of the refinery by adding three MTPA (million tonnes per annum), and to upgrade low-value products into high-value products. It also aims at processing cheaper crude oil, and production of petrochemical feedstock such as propylene.