Proposed petroleum refinery in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra, India

Indian government's plan to set up the biggest refinery of the country in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra faces opposition form agitated villagers and local NGOs and politicians.


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 [1]. 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".  [7].

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Basic Data
NameProposed petroleum refinery in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra, India
SiteRatnagiri district
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Oil and gas refining
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThis is a joint venture by Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and the Indian Oil Corporation. The proposed refinery cum petrochemical complex will include a refinery which has a capacity of 60 million tonnes (per annum). It is project worth $40 billion dollars. The project requires up to 16,000 hectares of land which is spread across 14 villages, and thus needs the complete displacement of five villages and partial relocation of populations in the others. The project includes a captive 1,500 MW coal power plant, a production facility for plastic and aromatic substances as well as a seawater desalination plant.
Project Area (in hectares)16,000
Level of Investment (in USD)40,000,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population3300 households
Start Date01/01/2016
Company Names or State EnterprisesHindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) from India
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) from India - Part of the joint venture.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) from India
Relevant government actorsState Government of Maharastra
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersKonkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti (Committee for Opposing Destructive Projects in Konkan)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Refusal of compensation
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Waste overflow, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.It is still too early to tell. The project has been given green signal by the government, but the locals are either completely against it, or demanding higher compensation for land acquisition.
Sources and Materials

Maharastra Industrial Development Act, 1961
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1. Agreement between IOC, BPCL and HPCL to set up India's biggest refinery
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2. Article about the different protests and oppositions to the project since 2016
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3. Rally of more than 3000 people in protest of the refinery project in September, 2017
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4. Stake of each of the company for setting up the refinery.
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5. Villagers ask for high compensation for the refinery project.
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Opinions are divided on the refinery project
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6. Protest against the land acquisition.
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8 Sept. 2016. Maharashtra’s mega refinery, petchem project faces land acquisition hurdle. The Maharashtra government wants IOC, BPCL, HPCL and the oil ministry to reduce the 15,000 acres of land required for the refinery, officials say.
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7. The Economic Times, IOC, BPCL, HPCL sign agreement to set up $40 billion refinery. Jun 14, 2017.
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Media Links

The Free Press Journal. Scrap mega refinery proposed in Konkan: Farmers. By PTI | Sep 12, 2017.
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Other Documents

Pictograph courtesy Telegraph
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Picture Courtesy: India Today
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Meta Information
ContributorBrototi Roy
Last update15/10/2017