Mangalore Refinery hit by water woes; to delay naphtha shipment

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) will delay shipment of 35,000 tonnes of naphtha to South Korea's top refiner SK Energy, after it had to shut about two-thirds of its 150,000 barrels per day plant, a Reuters report said today quoting traders in Singapore.

Earlier today, MRPL managing director U K Basu had said the company has slightly advanced a planned hydrocracker shutdown to coincide with an emergency closure of two-thirds of its refinery due to water shortages. The company had earlier planned a shutdown of the 1.2 million tones-a-year hydrocracker from mid-April for 45 days for a revamp.

Basu said throughput from the refinery would be less this month compared to March due to the emergency shutdown.
The refinery's normal capacity is 150,000 barrels per day.

"Amid four days of water shortage our daily output would be down by 60 per cent ... next month our throughput will be higher than the target," he said.

The shutdown comes at a time of healthy demand amid tight supplies, as India's exports for April were already at low levels of less than 730,000 tonnes compared to a 2011 monthly average of 890,000 tonnes before the outage.

Traders said the shipment delay could range from a few days to a week. "The market has firmed up a bit more due to this news," Reuters quoted a Singapore-based trader as saying.