Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), which is setting up a water desalination plant near New Mangalore Port in Mangaluru, is expecting it to be ready by 2020.

Speaking to presspersons here, M Venkatesh, Managing Director of the company, said that the desalination plant is under construction.

Initial stages of engineering and tendering activities are going on. He said that the project is on target as of now with mechanical completion by March 2020.

The plant will have the initial capacity of 5 million gallons a day (MGD). This can be expandable up to 10 MGD. He said that the desalination plant is meant to reduce the freshwater dependency of the refinery.

Asked about the freshwater requirement of the refinery, he said it requires around 12-13 MGD. As of now, the company is receiving around 2.5-3 MGD of domestic sewage from the municipal corporation.

“We are seeking more and more domestic sewage so that fresh water consumption can be brought down even today. We will maximise domestic sewage as and when corporation supplies to us,” he said.

It may be mentioned here that the annual report of the company for 2017-18 had stated that supply of water as one of the risks for it. Terming water as a vital input for the operations of the refinery, the report had said: “Water supply disruption occurred in the past during summer months. This severely affected the operations of the refinery.”