On 14 June 2017, oil firms IOC, BPCL and HPCL signed an agreement to jointly set up India's biggest refinery, with a capacity of 60 million tonne at Babulwadi, Taluka Rajapur in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra at a cost of USD 40 billion . Speaking on the occasion, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said though India is the world's third largest energy consumer after US and China, its per capita energy consumption is one-fourth of the world average. "Domestic oil demand is likely to climb to 500 million tonnes by 2040. Against this, our domestic refining capacity currently is 230-235 million tonnes". .
Read more at: Indian Oil Corp (IOC) will be the lead partner with 50 per cent stake while Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) will take 25 per cent stake each . The government is hoping to commission the refinery in 2022, and the land acquisition process has already started. In May, 15,000 acres in Rajapur and 1,000 acres in Devgad were declared as industrial zones under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation Act, and in September, the process of acquiring land from farmers was started by issuing individual notices . The project needs 6,018 hectares of land from around 3,000 farmers in 16 villages in two districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg . Twenty-eight per cent of the 16,000 hectares earmarked for the refinery is irrigated and under mango and cashew cultivation . The activists of the NGO, Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti (Committee for Opposing Destructive Projects in Konkan), who had been working to prevent the construction of a nuclear plant for the last 9 years, are also the ones who are most actively opposing the refinery project since 2016. Satyajit Chavan, Convenor, Committee for Opposing Destructive Projects in Konkan, in an interview in May, 2016 said that, ‘The refinery project will have a devastating effect on the local ecosystem. The effluents from the refinery will kill the local marine life. It will have a huge impact on the fisheries-dependent local community. A series of meetings have been held with the locals in Tavsal and they have been opposing the refinery vehemently. More protest meetings would be soon held.’ Chavan also said the Committee is not opposed to industrialisation. Automobile, forgings, and other industrial projects do not have a heavy environmental footprint; such projects are welcome, but not a refinery. A resident of Tavsal, Ajay Parab, said people want their area to progress but the pollution from the refinery will destroy the air and water quality in the region. Environmental activist Girish Raut said the first impact of the refinery will be on the intertidal zone — a critical interface between terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Rising pollution in the zone can destroy the whole marine ecosystem, he said .
On September 9, 2017, about 3,500 locals held a rally against the project in Rajapur taluka. “The government has misled farmers and villagers to make them accept the project and to acquire their land for free. This so-called green refinery shall be the most harmful project in the history of all projects. The refinery shall release azardous gases like SO2 (sulphur dioxide) NOx (nitrogen oxides) and carbon dioxide in abundance. In addition, the project will also lead to an increase in particulate suspended matter and oil spills in the Waghotane creek, endangering the life and livelihood of villagers,” said Rajendra Phatarekar, a resident and activist. Ashok Walam, a local farmer, said, “The government has kept us landowners in the dark. It need to understand that an illiterate farmer does not have the ability to completely understand a government notice. The authorities cannot expect us to vacate our land and support them in this destructive project. The proposal claims that the required fresh water will be generated from sea water, which shall destroy the marine life completely, as the process would lead to imbalance in the oxygen level in the sea.”  The Shiv Sena political party was also earlier against the refinery as it threatens to destroy the Konkan. “We are going to inform the Chief Minister about our opposition. We want the government to bring clean projects to the green region of Konkan,” State Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said. However, in July 2017, the farmers came up with 27 demands, including increasing the rate of land being offered to the farmers to Rs. 1 crore a hectare, which is at par with the rate given to Mumbai-Nagpur and Mumbai-Pune expressways . Whether the opposition will be successful in thwarting the project and save the flora and fauna of Konkan, or will the locals accept higher compensation for allowing the project, only time will tell.