Local residents in a village in Ratnagiri district expressed concern that the refinery could damage local mangoes and cashew plantations
The Indian state of Maharashtra will move the location of a planned $44 billion oil refinery following protests from local farmers, the state’s chief minister announced on Monday.
The refinery is a joint project of a number of state-run Indian oil companies including Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum and Saudi Aramco, which is designed to help India secure fuel supplies while allowing Saudi Arabia to secure buyers.
However, thousands of local farmers in Nanar - a village in Ratnagiri district - have protested that the refinery could damage local mangoes, as well as cashew plantations and nearby fishing areas.
On Monday, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that land acquisition for the project has been stopped at its proposed site in Ratnagiri district, 400 km south of Mumbai.
He did not announce any details of a new location, although he noted it would be in a place in which local residents will not raise objections.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is scheduled to arrive in India on Tuesday, where he is expected to announce a number of investments in India’s energy and infrastructure sectors.
The proposed 1.2 million barrel-per-day refinery is expected to create jobs for as many as 150,000 people, according to Indian officials.