Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan
Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, on Tuesday, directed the Ministry to soon complete the techno-feasibility study of constructing a refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Vidarbha. This move was announced by Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis after he, along with the representatives of Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED), met Pradhan and made a strong case for the project in Vidarbha, which is far away from the western coast.

Pradhan’s directives came when the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government is yet to take a formal call on the development of the Rs 3 lakh crore refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in Ratnagiri district by Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited at the new site. The previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, in March 2019, had cancelled the notification to develop the project at Nanar in Rajapur taluka of Ratnagiri district following strong opposition from the then ruling partner Shiv Sena.

“I am happy that it was a very positive discussion and thankful to Dharmendra Pradhan for immediately asking for the techno-feasibility study. This project will attract many industries in Vidarbha and help generate employment opportunities,” said Fadnavis. He presented a report prepared by VED to Pradhan and said, “Petrochemicals is a huge benefit and produces raw materials for many industries. We can see new developments and industries in Vidarbha if we get this much required refinery-cum-petrochemical complex.”

Pradhan in a tweet said, “Always a pleasure meeting former Chief Minister and LoP in Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis. We had discussions on establishing a petrochemical-cum-refinery complex in Vidarbha to further create opportunities for employment and economic growth in the state.”

Fadnavis said VED, in its presentation, has said that the fuel consumption in central India, which is about 14-15 MTPA, can be met by setting up the project in Vidarbha.

"The region will get not only fuel and LPG, but also many important petrochemicals used by many downstream industries like textiles, soaps and detergents, paints, cement, steel and several others. Not only the refinery, but ancillaries may bring about prosperity in the region with employment opportunities," he said.

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