Mangaluru: With the number of vehicles on roads falling sharply in the lockdown period due to the coronavirus spread, the public sector Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) has cut down production of petrol and diesel by half.
The demand for diesel and petrol had fallen sharply after the lockdown was announced.
MRPL normally produces 2,500 tonnes of LPG, 20,000 tonnes of diesel and 2,500 tonnes of petrol.
The LPG production has now been cut by 25 per cent while there has been a 50 per cent cut in petrol and diesel production, the company said in a press release here.
Most of the employees of MRPL have been given leave while workers needed for the production unit have been taken on emergency basis.
Out of 6,500 employees, only 800 are working now.
The oil produced at MRPL is being distributed all over the state through Indian Oil, HPCL, BPCL and Shell.
In normal courses, MRPL shuts one unit during April for maintenance.
At that time, it needs 4,000 workers.
As bringing together so many workers for the purpose is cumbersome, the company plans to postpone the annual shutdown this year.
MRPL, which is the only processing centre for crude oil in Karnataka, has ensured that the state and a few southern parts of India did not face hardships on account of petroleum shortage by keeping up its supply continuously.
MRPL general manager (corporate communication), Rudolph Noronha said the company has brought down its production of petrol, LPG and diesel as the demand now is less.
Only workers who are needed for emergencies are now attending work.