Ratnagiri To Lose 1.5 Lakh Job Opportunities As Maharashtra Mulls Shifting $44-Billion Refinery Project To Raigad Representative image. (Unsplash/Patrick Hendry) 

The proposed $44 billion refinery at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, which would be India's largest such project upon completion, could now be shifted to the nearby Raigad district, reports Mint.

“They (the state government) are looking to shift the Ratnagiri refinery project to Raigad district. The committee has identified pockets of land MIDC had acquired and developed in Roha or Mangaon tehsils in Raigad district. The land was acquired for Rashtriya Chemicals and is said to be better than the land in Ratnagiri district," said a government official.

In January (2019) the Maharashtra government set up a five-member committee to search for an alternative location for the refinery due to opposition from Ratnagiri farmers who refused to surrender land.

Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL), the company in charge of the project says the 1.2 million barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery, and an integrated petrochemical site with a capacity of 18 million tonnes per year, will provide direct and indirect employment to upto 150,000 people in the region. It also stated that these jobs would be better paying than farming-related activities.

While Indian State-owned oil refiners -- Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum -- jointly own 50 per cent stake, Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company will each own 25 per cent stake in the refinery.

Optimistic About Deadline

“We continue to remain positive on our investments in India. We will catch up in case of any delay in setting up the mega refinery in India due to location shift,” said Saudi Aramco’s CEO Amin H Nasser.

RRPCL is confident that the refinery will be commissioned by 2025.

Also Read: Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Dedicates India’s Largest Public Sector Refinery To The Nation

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