Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday that the state government wants Asia’s biggest first green oil refinery to be built at Nanar in Ratnagiri district of Konkan region.
The remark, made at public meetings in the Konkan region during his Mahajanadesh Yatra, came a day after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the proposed Aarey car shed in Mumbai would go the way of the Nanar oil refinery.
The proposed refinery was shelved due to environmental concerns at Sena’s insistence, as a condition of its pre-Lok Sabha election alliance earlier this year.
“The Maharashtra government wanted Nanar refinery, as it would generate one lakh new jobs and bring investment of Rs 3 lakh crore,” Fadnavis said.
The planned facility, named the Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemical Limited, was to come up as 50:50 joint venture between RRPCL — its investors are Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — and a partnership between the Saudi-owned Aramco and UAE’s National Oil Company.
“Following protests from some quarters, the government had given a stay to the project. But today, I can see overwhelming demand from the people in the district for the Nanar project. Although I am not going to make any official announcement on the project today, I reassure people we would like to invite you and discuss the project again,” he said.
The refinery would pass through 14,000 hectares spread across 17 villages in Ratnagiri. The government had initiated the process of land survey, when it had to be shelved suddenly before the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.
Due to Sena’s opposition to the project in its bastion, after the elections, the government had indicated it was considering shifting the project to Roha in Raigad.
But there was more uncertainty when Reliance Industries announced a proposed Aramco acquisition of stake in its oil and chemicals division, as it seemed to rule out a second big investment by the Saudi oil major.
However, Fadnavis on Tuesday referred to the importance of Nanar for development of Konkan at two meetings — once in Ratnagiri, and again in Rajapur.