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Will speak to Shiv Sena over Ratnagiri refinery: Pradhan

New Delhi, June 25: Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday that he will personally speak to Uddhav Thackeray to allay his fears about the threat to farmers’ lands due to the proposed Ratnagiri refinery in Maharashtra. The refinery will be set up in cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Pradhan was speaking after the signing of a MoU here between Saudi national oil company Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) to jointly build the integrated refinery through Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL)

The RRPCL is a joint venture created in collaboration with an Indian consortium consisting of state-run oil marketing companies Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum. The $44 billion project at Nanar is being opposed by the Shiv Sena along with a section of local villagers.

“We are talking with all stakeholders on this issue. I will talk to Uddhav Thackeray and the genuine grievances of the local people will be sought to be resolved by the companies,” Pradhan said. “On principle there is no objection to the refinery. The farmers’ grievances will be taken care of,” he added. The understanding was signed between Saudi Aramco President Amin H. Nasser and UAE Minister of State and ADNOC Chief Executive Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber. The signing was also witnessed by the visiting UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The MoU was signed in April between an Indian consortium and Aramco on the sidelines of the 16th International Energy Forum (IEF) here. RRPCL will have Aramco and ADNOC as overseas strategic partners. The project will be set up as a 50:50 joint partnership between the consortium from India, Aramco and ADNOC. “This will be single largest overseas investment in the Indian refinery sector,” Pradhan said, adding that it would be the first such integrated refinery project globally. (IANS)

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