Phase four: MRPL may focus on petrochemical products

Considering the Union government’s push for electric vehicles and those run by natural gas, the State’s oil refining major, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL), is mulling over focussing more on petrochemicals than fuel when its phase-four expansion becomes a reality.

Though demand for conventional fuel will keep increasing for some more time, it would not be as exponential like today following the thrust on alternative fuels, the company believes.

Yet, phase four will also produce conventional fuel as the Niti Aayog has predicted there will be demand for it, MRPL Managing Director M. Venkatesh said.

It will take time for transport vehicles, namely buses and trucks, to switch over to alternative fuel and they will continue to require high-speed diesel.

Polypropylene is the only petrochemical being manufactured by MRPL at its existing facility.

A feasibility — technical as well as economical — study of producing polypropylene in phase four is being undertaken before the company takes a concrete decision on polypropylene production and recommends to its Board, MRPL officials said. About 3 million tonnes of crude is planned to be processed per annum in phase four. MRPL has sought about 960 acres of land for the expansion from the State government and the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board has been entrusted with land acquisition. The government has already issued a final notification under the KIADB Act to acquire lands identified in Permude, Kuthethur, Thenka Yekkar, Mulur, and Kandavara villages surrounding the existing MRPL plant in Mangaluru taluk.

The acquisition process however has not been smooth as landowner farmers have strongly been opposing the acquisition.

Polypropylene is used in a variety of applications, including consumder product packaging, electrical and equipment manufacturing, automobile, household appliances, construction material and other industries. MRPL had produced about 3.88 lakh tonnes of polypropylene in 2018-19 as against 2.94 lakh tonnes in 2017-18.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 3:35:24 pm |