Singapore: Indian refiner Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) may boost middle distillate exports by about 80% and halt fuel oil exports from 2013-14 once it completes expanding capacity, its managing director U. K. Basu said.
The state-run refiner is raising the capacity of its refinery in southern India by 27% to 300,000 bpd to process cheaper heavy-sour grades with high acid content to lift profitability and improve yield, Basu told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (AAPEC) on Wednesday.
The company will commission a new crude unit in January-February and gradually start up other units, including a diesel hydrotreater, fluid catalytic cracker, delayed coker by June-July, Basu said.
“In early 2013, it will operate at 100% capacity,” he said.
In the fiscal year ending March 2011, MRPL exported about 760,000 tonnes of diesel and about 910,000 tonnes of jet/kerosene, he said. The firm’s total export of jet kero and diesel may go up by 1.3 million tonnes in 2013-14.
MRPL, which currently exports 1-2 fuel oil cargoes of 80,000 tonnes each per month, mostly into East Asia, and is India’s largest exporter, may halt shipments from that year.
“There will not be any fuel oil exports...We will be exporting fuel oil only if the margins are better on it,” he said.
MRPL’s fuel oil, typically of 380-centistoke (cst) specification, is popular among the Singapore-based traders due to its low-density properties. It is also easy to blend for the marine fuels market in the city-state, the world’s largest.
The refiner will see a “dramatic change” in its crude sourcing from May next year after developing a better import facility called single point mooring, he said.
“We will be buying crude in VLCCs (very large crude carriers),” he said. After the expansion, the refinery would be able to process 40% heavy crude versus 25% now.
It will also be able to use newer grades of crude to maximize earnings from processing each barrel into fuels.
“That is of prime importance, to open up to new crudes...There are new crude coming up in the west African countries and in Latin America.”
Initially, the new capacity will process sweet grades, and for that MRPL may float tenders seeking three 700,000 barrels parcel for December and January lifting, he said.
MRPL has floated two tenders seeking sweet barrels for September.
“We will get less supply of Mumbai High crude in October and November as we took higher volumes in last few months. From December we will get our normal volumes,” Basu said.
It buys 36,000 barrels per day of Mumbai High crude.