Hardeep Singh Puri said he would continue to strive to see a 20 million metric tonne (MMT) capacity refinery be built in Chandrapur district . The minister admitted that three units of 20 MMT each could be built at different locations instead of establishing one 60 MMT refinery .
Nagpur, April 13: Union petroleum and natural gas minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday that he would continue to strive to see a 20 million metric tonne (MMT) capacity refinery be built in Chandrapur district, as hoped by industry associations from the area.This came following the minister's statement last week, in which he was quoted by media that he intends to revive the 60 MMT Ratnagiri refinery project.Puri said that the scheme would be reclaimed after the BJP took over Maharashtra during his first visit to Chandrapur.A consortium of three PSUs IOC, HPCL, and BPCL planned the Ratnagiri refinery.Vidarbha is rich in minerals, and establishing a 20-MMT refinery in Chandrapur is worth considering, he said.Puri has been named in-charge of Chandrapur Lok Sabha constituency by the BJP to broaden the opposition base, considering the fact that it had already been defeated in the last elections.Local business associations considered the idea of a refinery, which met with him during his visit.Prior to that, a delegation from Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED), which is seeking that a refinery and petrochemical complex be built in the area, met Puri.VEDs strategist Pradeep Maheshwari has been suggesting that the refinery and petrochemical complex be built at Kuhi, where land for national development and manufacturing zone (NIMS) was planned. VED said that a refinery even at Chandrapur would be beneficial to the region.Puri quoted by Maheshwari that the country has a total refining capacity of 235 MMT, which the central government expects to reach 400 MMT by 2035.The case for a petrochemical complex as well as the refinery is being pushed by VED.This will enable businesses to exploit downstream projects as raw materials. This cost would be higher than the cost of transporting crude through pipelines to the refinery.Later that day, Puri, along with Maharashtra forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, travelled to Ballarpur and lunched with a dalit labourer, Ramhit Varma, who is a beneficiary of the central government's free toilet and free ration program.In a project managed by the local division of the BJP, Varma, a native of a Kafalarpurva hamlet in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh who had migrated 40 years back to Ballarpur in search of employment, works as a labourer lifting grain bags at a grocery store.