Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) is a leading company producing petrochemical products in India. It is one of the great organizations for undergoing an internship program for students in terms of learning and professional development. Therefore, I consider myself to be fortunate for being provided with this opportunity to be a part of it. I am also grateful for having a chance to meet so many wonderful people and professionals who led me through this internship period.
As the saying goes, "Every journey begins with a single step". My journey began with a call about the internship opportunities at MRPL by my referee and I was thrilled to know about it. The application process was concise, but getting all the permissions and required documents was a tedious task. I was eagerly waiting for their reply after applying. Due to lockdown and covid restrictions, the situation was uncertain, but everything went well and I got my internship permission through the mail. I was excited to start my journey as an internship trainee at MRPL.
MRPL is not just an industry, it is an entire city in itself. Along with the refinery, It has its hospital, school, township, powerplant, water reservoir, and all other facilities within the vast and beautiful hilly terrain, north of Mangalore city. On our first day at MRPL, we were taken to the MRPL hospital for medical screening. Later we had a session on fire and safety training. Through this session, we got to know our roles and responsibilities during an emergency. The reason they started the training program with this session is the officials always say "Your safety is our priority". To ensure our safety and avoid hazards mobile phones/laptops and other devices are not allowed inside MRPL. Wearing safety shoes and helmets was mandatory within the premises.
The Training and Development Centre was our place of assembly. We got to know each other and made friends from different colleges. We were provided with punch cards and entry passes for the attendance system. Punching the cards and signing the register gave us a corporate feel. Later we were divided into groups according to our branches and assigned to various departments. As a Mechanical Engineering student, I got into the Maintenance Department. Before we started with the plant visits, we had introductory sessions about MRPL, its journey, and operations in the company. Once the training began and our plant visits started we had to report to the unit supervisors, who would give the schedule and assign staff to guide us during the training.
Our training started from the sea, through which the crude oil comes to MRPL. We got to learn about the various facilities MRPL has built at New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) as per its requirements. This oil is brought to the refinery through pipelines. The first unit where the oil is refined is the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) from where it is fed to Continuous Catalytic Regeneration (CCR), Hydrocracker unit (HCU), and other units which will produce the refined and ready to use petroleum products and various Petrochemical byproducts. Alongside there are other units and workshops which will produce the required reagents and intermediate process and aid in the smooth functioning of all the units. It was fascinating to see the whole refining process at such a close angle.
To carry out these processes consumes a lot of power. MRPL has set up Captive Power Plant (CPP) to produce power in-house and meet the requirements. The water needed in the refinery and power plant is supplied by the dam built across the river Netravati at a place called Sarapadi. The wastewater and effluents from the refinery are sent to the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) for treatment and recirculation. This unit plays a major role in reducing the water intake from the river and minimizing the amount of pollution in the environment.
This is a brief overview of the various units and sections of MRPL we had visited during the training program. Each day we would go with the assigned engineer, who would brief us about the operation of the unit. Later we used to speak with operators about the conditional monitoring and maintenance procedures. At the end of the day, we would report our daily visits to the supervisors, who would give the broader picture and encourage us to explore more about it.
Speaking about the facilities at MRPL, we had a large canteen and pantries which provided nutritious food with unique seating arrangements. The MRPL site is spread over 1000 acres in area and to commute within the plants we had bus facilities at regular intervals. We utilized it to the fullest during our time at MRPL. On the last day of our training program, we recollected all the memories as it was the one last time as an intern at MRPL.
Through this internship training program, I learned how a refining industry works with the culmination of various branches of engineering functioning together and how all these departments need to cooperate for the smooth operation of any unit. This was a whole new journey that enhanced my inquisitiveness to face the challenges in the field of engineering. The fun-filled learning experience of this meticulously planned internship was a boon to me in acquiring the knowledge and skills.