Public owned Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) plans to commission a seawater desalination plant in the financial year 2020-21, reports Water Technology. Construction is estimated to cost Rs6.2 billion (over $80 M).
The company’s managing director, M Venkatesh, reported that some of its units were shut down this summer due to water scarcity. In fact, MRPL had to close two of the three units it has in Chennai.
To guarantee the water supply to the refinery, MRPL has decided to set up a seawater desalination plant, and awarded the contract to build it to VA Tech Wabag, a company based in Chennai. The contract also includes the operation and maintenance of the plant for 10 years. The facility will have a capacity of 7 million gallons per day, and was approved by the Ministry of Environment last month of April.
In the interim, MPRL is looking into temporary desalination options to ensure the water supply during potential shortage periods, such as the summer of 2020. In addition, the company is reusing about 3 million gallons per day of treated municipal waste water and intends to increase consumption from this source. The company’s objective is to decrease reliance on freshwater.
Up to now, MPRL has worked along with other PSU oil companies (public sector undertakings) to guarantee the supply of petroleum products is not disrupted during periods of water shortage.
Contingency planning by the oil industry concurs with concerns by steel companies in India, who have identified water scarcity as a business risk and are taking measures to manage it.