Oil and Gas Sector – HELP, Open Acreage Policy, etc.

India and Saudi’s Push for the West Coast Mega Refinery Project


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : West Coast Mega Refinery Project

Mains level : Not Much

Central Idea

  • India and Saudi Arabia have renewed efforts to accelerate the long-pending 60-million-tonnes-per-annum (60 mtpa) west coast mega refinery project, which had faced multiple hurdles.

West Coast Mega Refinery Project

  • The ambitious project to build a mega oil refinery and petrochemicals facility in Maharashtra’s Konkan belt, with participation from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, was first proposed in 2015.
  • The project is stipulated to be established at Barsu village in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
  • IOC, BPCL, and HPCL, had already incorporated a joint venture (JV) — Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals (RRPCL) — to implement the project.
  • It faced resistance from locals due to environmental concerns and shifting political equations in the state.
  • Despite initial agreements and cost estimates of Rs 3 lakh crore, the project failed to take off as foreign partners hadn’t acquired stakes in the joint venture.

Recent Developments

  • Around 15,000 acres of land had to be acquired for the project across 17 villages in the area.
  • A joint monitoring committee will track the project’s progress, signaling renewed commitment.
  • India and Saudi Arabia are keen to implement the project, which has earmarked funds of $50 billion.

Significance of the Project

  • India is a significant consumer of crude oil, and its demand for petroleum products and petrochemicals is expected to grow substantially.
  • India aims to increase its refining capacity from 250 mtpa to 450 mtpa, making it a key player in the global oil demand landscape.
  • For Aramco and ADNOC, the project offers diversification, global expansion, risk mitigation, and access to a major oil market.

Future Options

  • Realistic alternatives include scouting for alternative coastal sites in Maharashtra or considering another coastal state.
  • A more drastic alternative is to split the proposed mega refinery into smaller units.

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.