(From L) Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Pradeep Maheshwari, Shivkumar Rao, Vilas Kale and Navin Malewar.
Business Bureau :
The Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) has been assiduously pursuing the issue of setting up a refinery-cum-petro-chemical complex in Vidarbha for almost a decade. The council has recently requested Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas to arrange for the PSUs to conduct a techno-economic feasibility study that is necessary for such a large project. In a recent move, VED Council convinced Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis through a presentation, of the need for a refinery-cum-petro-chemical complex in Vidarbha, and the need for a techno-economic feasibility study prior to setting it up. He has communicated to Pradhan to initiate this study which, if found feasible, would be a boon for Vidarbha.
Fadnavis feels that the information disseminated through the presentation by VED shows that the fuel consumption in Central India, which is about 14-15 MTPA, can be met by setting up the project in Vidarbha. The region will get not only fuel, LPG but also many important petrochemicals used by many downstream industries like textiles, soaps and detergents, paints, cement, steel and several others. Not only the refinery but ancillaries may ensure huge prosperity in the region with huge employment.
Fadnavis further pointed out to the Union Minister in his communication that the major reason for the sluggish industrial development of this region was the high cost of the logistics of transportation of fuel and petroleum products from distant refineries, which would be obviated by a refinery set up here. He pointed out that Nagpur-Vidarbha being centrally located, a crude petroleum pipeline can be laid across the Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg up to Nagpur, which would enable the transportation of petroleum at lower costs. The process, he felt, would trigger development and the possibility of downstream MSME units due to the availability of petroleum products here itself. When set up, it would help the setting up of downstream industries, especially such as plastic, chemicals, detergents, lubricants etc. by reducing the cost of fuels which are the highest in Vidarbha.
This notion is supported further by the fact that the Prime Minister NarendraModi, recently announced that the refining capacity of the country needs to be doubled by 2025. Hence, this project in Vidarbha would fulfill the current vacuum. The direct and indirect employment generation potential would be 1 to 1.5 lakh, which would be a huge boost to the economy of the region and accelerate its per capita income growth. Shiv Kumar Rao, President VED Council, and Pradeep Maheshwari, Project Director and Member VED council, Vilas Kale , Past President - VED, and Navin Malewar participated in the meeting with Fadnavis.