Land row may delay MRPL expansion


The ongoing Rs 15,000 crore expansion of state-owned Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) may get delayed due to the agitation, a top official of the company said today.

MRPL managing director U K Basu said he feared that if the road blockade by agitating displaced people for the Mangalore SEZ continued at Jokatte the project will get affected.

“Our third phase work of the expansion had come to a standstill since Monday. The situation is grave. If the blockade is not lifted and agitation is not controlled we will miss the deadline of January 2012 for commissioning the expanded capacity,” Basu said here at a seminar by Assocham.

“We cannot move the cargo (machines and equipment) to the site from port since last 14 days, many of 16,000-17,000 workers have started leaving the site,” he said.

Basu said the company was planning to complete installation of majority of equipment before monsoon.

MRPL is not part of the SEZ project but since it has acquired 250 acres contiguous to the proposed 2,300 acres SEZ, it has been hit by the ongoing agitation.

As per latest information, the displaced people had declined to accept the latest rehabilitation package cleared by the Karnataka government.

The expansion will increase the name plate capacity to 15 million tonne from 11.82 million tonne now. The project has already achieved 83.3 per cent completion.

Asked about funding of the expansion, Basu said it is met by internal accruals but in second and third quarter of the current fiscal may borrow money from its parent ONGC, he said. ONGC board had already cleared a loan of Rs 5,000 crore.

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