Our focus is to expand capacity', says MRPL boss

Vol 18, PW 4 (09 Oct 14) Midstream & Downstream

Things are looking bright for ONGC subsidiary Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals.

After reporting a worrying pre-tax loss of Rs477cr ($77m) in 2012-13, it had a much healthier pre-tax profit of Rs410cr ($66m) in 2013-14. Now Hariharan Kumar, new MD of the refinery, located in the beautiful hilly terrain north of Mangalore, tells this report MRPL’s focus is to further expand capacity.

“Our medium term plan is to expand capacity to 21m t/y (from 15m t/y) within the next five to seven years,” he says. Kumar took over as MD on August 14 from his previous assignment as an executive director at HPCL which has a 16.95% stake in MRPL.

On August 27, MRPL also completed its long drawn out Rs12,160cr ($2bn) Phase-III expansion from 12m t/y to 15m t/y when the Rs1800cr ($294m) Petro Fluidised Catalytic Cracking Unit (PFCCU) set up by Engineers India was successfully commissioned. “Our gross refining margins will go up and be on par with any refinery having a cracker,” adds Kumar.

“Only two refineries in India (MRPL and Hindustan Mittal Energy’s Bhatinda refinery) have a PFCCU.” Licensed by Stone & Webster, the PFCCU yields LPG and propylene which will be raw material for MRPL’s upcoming 440,000 t/y polypropylene factory being built at a cost of Rs1803cr ($293m).