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Indian land-owners weigh in on relocation of Ratnagiri refinery

Initially, the $44bn refinery and petrochemical complex was proposed to be built at Nanar, a village in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, about 400km south of Mumbai. A large group of farmers refused to surrender their land because it could have damaged the region famous for Alphonso mangoes, cashew farms and fishing colonies. Because of the protests of farmers, the Maharashtra government suspended the land acquisition procedures for the proposed refinery in Nanar. The government has now identified a new site for the planned 1.2mbpd refinery and integrated petrochemical project in Raigad district, which is about 100km south of Mumbai.

Belatedly, about 1,000 families, owning 7,000 acres of land in the Nanar village, are now preotesting the relocation with concerns over job losses outweighing the farming concerns. Now in Ratnagiri district, even mango farmers with a 200-acre landholding are willing to let go of their land because mango farming is no longer viable.

Meantime, City and Industrial Development Corporation plans to acquire land from 40 villages in Raigad for the complex.

Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) is 50% owned by Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation. The remaining stake is owned equally by Saudi Aramco and ADNOC. RRPCL is aimed at giving India steady fuel supplies while meeting Saudi Arabia's need to secure regular buyers for its oil.

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From the April 2018 issue of Hydrocarbon Processing


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