India’s MRPL to raise Rs50bn to beef up cash flow, working capital

Author: Priya Jestin

2020/09/21

MUMBAI (ICIS)--India’s Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) plans to raise Indian rupee (Rs) 50bn ($682m) through a non-convertible debenture (NCD)/bond issuance, as it pursues projects to expand petrochemical operations.

“The funds should help to improve MRPL’s cash flow and aid in meeting working capital needs,” a company source said.

The company secured shareholders’ approval on 18 September on the fund-raising activity.

MRPL is currently in the process of expanding its refining capacity from 15m tonnes/year to 18m tonnes/year.

“We are finally aiming to increase capacity to 25m tonnes/year,” the company source said.

This will help it increase its petrochemical portfolio as well, he said, adding that the company had not yet set a timeline for completion of the project.

The company is setting up a desalination plant and expects to complete it by the end of the current financial year.

“To mitigate the dependence and risk of river water as a single source of water, a desalination plant is being set up near the sea. This plant of capacity 30m litres/day (expandable to 70m litres/day) will cater to the future water requirement of the refinery,” said MRPL managing director M Venkatesh, at the AGM.

The desalination plant will ensure that the refinery operations are not disrupted due to water shortage, the MRPL source said.

In May 2019, the company had to partially shut down operations due to acute water shortage.

MRPL is also setting up a 16,000 tonne/day 2G ethanol plant at Davangere in southern Karnataka state.

It plans to use corn cob and cotton stock as feed for the plant and will use technology from US-based LanzaTech for the project.

MRPL expects to achieve mechanical completion of its BS VI fuel upgrade project by the third quarter of the current financial year ending March 2021.

The company also expects to complete the merger of its subsidiary ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd (OMPL) with itself soon, said MRPL managing director Venkatesh at the AGM on 18 September.

MRPL currently holds the controlling stake of 51% in OMPL while Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC) holds the remaining 49%.

Integrated operations would yield better benefits, Venkatesh said, adding that the company was intent on increasing its petrochemical portfolio.

“Petroleum products have got a particular demand segment. We are focused on downstream petrochemical projects,” he said.

As part of its petrochemical expansion project, MRPL plans to set up a 280,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) line and a 610,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant.

Future plans include setting up a 300,000 tonne/year ethyl benzene/styrene monomer unit, a 50,000 tonne/year iso-butyl benzene plant, a 50,000 tonne/year hexane unit and a 50,000 tonne/year maleic anhydride line.

The company already operates a 440,000 tonne/year PP unit at the complex and produces 920,000 tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX) through OMPL.

Front page picture: A facility operated by MRPL in India
Source: MRPL

Focus article by Priya Jestin

($1= Rs73.39)