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The Indian state of Maharashtra has identified a new location where India, in partnership with the state oil companies of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, plans to build a giant US$44-billion refinery, the chief minister of Maharashtra state, Devendra Fadnavis, said on Wednesday.
In June last year, Saudi Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed a framework agreement and a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of Indian national oil companies to join the mega project in the Maharashtra state on India’s west coast. Saudi Aramco and ADNOC will jointly own 50 percent of the new joint venture company RRPCL, while the other 50 percent will be held by the Indian consortium. The parties agreed to explore a strategic partnership and co-investment in the development of the US$44 billion mega refinery.
By investing in the giant Indian refinery, the national oil companies of leading OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and the UAE would secure off-take for their crude in a strategic fast-growing oil market in Asia.
However, the process of land acquisition for the new giant complex was put on hold late last year due to strong opposition from local farmers at the initially identified location. Farmers opposed the choice for the giant refinery because many of them depend on their land for their income and livelihoods.
After the suspension of the land acquisition at the previous site, Fadnavis announced in February this year that the refinery would be relocated to another site, without specifying it.
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Now the Maharashtra state has picked the new location, in the Raigad district, some 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Mumbai, Reuters quoted Fadnavis as saying in a written reply to lawmakers in Maharashtra state.
The previously proposed site at Nanar lies around 248 miles (400 kilometers) south of Mumbai.
A state-run City and Industrial Development Corporation plans to buy land from around 40 villages in the Raigad district for the refinery, Fadnavis told lawmakers, as carried by Reuters.
Alongside investment in the mega refinery, Saudi Arabia has recently pledged to invest US$100 billion in India’s energy sector in its continued efforts to lock in future demand for its oil on the fastest-growing Asian markets.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.