Ratnagiri Oil Refinery in Nanar, Maharashtra, India

Constant protests by local residents - farmers, fishermen and neighbours in Ratnagiri, led to the successful cancelling of the proposed oil refinery, planned to be the world's largest.


Stare-run oil companies - Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum created Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) (14) to set up what would be the country's biggest oil refinery, at Nanar, a village in Ratnagiri district, 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai (2). The project was declared in May 2017 and land acquisitions began illegally under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act of 1961, when 16,000 acres of the region was declared an 'industrial zone' (12). In November 2017,  two thousand farmers from affected villages marched to Mumbai’s Azad Maidan to protest this project (11). In Nanar, thousands of farmers got on roads for days, opposing government’s attempts to carry out a joint measurement survey by using sheets of cloth and black umbrellas (2).

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Basic Data
NameRatnagiri Oil Refinery in Nanar, Maharashtra, India
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Oil and gas refining
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) is a joint venture between Indian Oil Corp (IOC) (25% stake in project), Hindustan Petroleum (12.5%) and Bharat Petroleum (12.5%). While the three Indian PSU's hold 50% stake in the project, the world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco (25%) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) (25%), the state-run oil firm of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), jointly own the other half. The capacity of the refinery is 1.2 million barrel-per-day (bpd) and it will be an integrated petrochemical site with a capacity of 18 million tonnes per year.

Once all the clearances are in, it will at least five to six years for the refinery to commence production. The refinery will include three crude units of 20 million tonnes each and will produce petrol, diesel, LPG, aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and feedstock for making petrochemicals such as plastics, chemicals and textiles.

The project will consist of five huge operations - a refinery plant, a plastic plant, an aromatic plant, a water desalination plant, and a thermal power plant to provide electricity for this mega structure.

The government declared around 16,000 acres of land as an industrial zone for the project in May 2017. Moreover, instead of following the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, the land is being acquired under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Act of 1961.

It claims that it will help create direct and indirect employment for up to 150,000 people, with jobs that pay better than agriculture or fishing.
Project Area (in hectares)6070.285
Level of Investment (in USD)44,000,000,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population3400-4250
Start Date12/08/2017
End Date2019
Company Names or State EnterprisesIndian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) from India
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) from India
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) from India
Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) from Saudi Arabia - Earns 25% stake in the project
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) from United Arab Emirates - Earns 25% stake in the project
Maharashtra Government from India
Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) from India - Owns 50% of the project
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) from India - Supports the project
Relevant government actorsDharmendra Pradhan, Petroleum minister

Expert committee set up for settlement of land acquisition issues:

DM Sukhtankar, former chief secretary of Maharashtra and former urban development secretary with the central government

Dr Vijay Kelkar, chairman of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and former secretary in the ministries of finance and petroleum

Abhay Pethe, academician and economist

JB Joshi, former-director of Mumbai-based Institute of Chemical Technology

S.B. Kadrekar, former vice-chancellor of Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth.
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersKonkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti (KVPVS) (translation - Committee for Opposing Destructive Projects in Konkan)

The Oppostion Congress, NCP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, and the ruling ally Shiv Sena in the state are supporting the locals.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Other Environmental impacts
OtherThe entire Konkan belt is ecologically sensitive and is home to one of a large varieties of flora and fauna apart from animal, bird and reptile species and is tagged as one of the most fragile ecological zones in the world. The project would destroy this.
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject cancelled
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.It is important to note that the projected has been cancelled in Ratnagiri and is being shifted. The probable location is still being finalised. This can be seen as justice to Nanar but the project continues to have potential threat to the next location.
Sources and Materials

1. Thousands in Maharashtra are opposing what could be ‘globe’s largest’ oil refinery
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2. Local protests hit world's largest refinery project by oil PSUs
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3. Maharashtra to move planned Ratnagiri refinery after farmers protest
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4. Ratnagiri refinery project: 4-member panel tasked with winning over opponents
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5. Ratnagiri Refinery: Dharmendra Pradhan says open to offer majority stake
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6. Adnoc ties up with Aramco for refinery in Ratnagiri
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7. Land for Ratnagiri refinery should be available by 2019: B Ashok, Ratnagiri Refinery CEO
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8. Protests against Ratnagiri refinery to gain steam
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9. Residents Protest Against Ratnagiri Oil Refinery, Say It Will Not be Eco-Friendly
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10. Abu Dhabi oil giant signs pact to take stake in Ratnagiri refinery project
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11. Saudi-backed Nanar Refinery Project in Maharashtra to Be Relocated
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12. Farmers from Konkan Region March to Mumbai to Oppose Refinery Project
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13. Maharashtra: Nanar Refinery project officially scrapped as govt denotifies acquired land
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14. Indian state to move planned Saudi Aramco refinery after farmers protest
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Media Links

Sheetal Ghurav from Ratnagiri - Shot by Ruchira Petkar/ The Wire
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Other Documents

(credit - Newsclick)
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Protesters not allowing land survey procedure (credits - Newsclick)
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Residents protesting (credits - Rahul Wadke)
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Meta Information
ContributorArpita Lulla, Kalpavriksh, [email protected]
Last update15/04/2019