Ultra Mega Power Projects in India

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of India and coal.

The program of Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) was introduced by the Ministry of Power in 2005 to address the country's chronic power deficits. Each project would have a capacity of 4000 megawatts (MW) or more. Originally, nine projects were proposed, of which four were pit-head projects and five were coastal projects that would use imported coal. Later, additional projects were proposed.

January 2012 Update

As of January 2012, four projects were under development:[1]

Requests for Qualification (RfQ) for selection of developer were issued in 2010 for the Sarguja Ultra Mega Power Project in Chhattisgarh and the Bedabahal Ultra Mega Power Project in Orissa. RfQ bids for Orissa Ultra Mega Power Project were opened in August 2011. The RfQ submission deadline for Chhattisgarh Ultra Mega Power Project were extended after the Ministry of Environment and Forests categorized coal blocks for the project in a "No Go" area.[1]

As of January 2012, progress on additional Ultra Mega Power Projects in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu was waiting various governmental clearances for land and water.[1]


The UMPPs are seen as an expansion of the MPP (Mega Power Projects) that the Government of India undertook in the 1990s, but met with limited success. The Ministry of Power, in association with the Central Electricity Authority and Power Finance Corporation Ltd., has launched an initiative for the development of coal-based UMPP's in India. These projects will be awarded to developers on the basis of competitive bidding.[2]

List of proposed UMPPs

As of Nov 2010, 16[3] UMPPs have been planned in Karnataka, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh (2)[4], Maharashtra (2), Orissa (3)[4], Tamil Nadu (2), Gujarat (2)[4] and Jharkhand

State Location Capacity (MW) Awarded
Chattisgarh Akaltara Ultra Mega Power Project
Gujarat Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project 4000 Tata Power
Karnataka Tadri Ultra Mega Power Project 4000 National Thermal Power Corporation
Madhya Pradesh Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project 3960 Reliance
Maharashtra Giriye Ultra Mega Power Project 4000
Andhra Pradesh Krishnapatnam Ultra Mega Power Project 4000 Reliance
Orissa Sundargarh Ultra Mega Power Project NTPC
Tamil Nadu Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project 4000
Jharkhand Tilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project 3960 Reliance

Of these, the ones planned in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand will come up at pithead locations (near coal mines) and use domestic fuel, while the rest will come up in coastal locations with easy access to imported coal. On the request of the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, two more sites have been identified, which consist of a pithead site in Ib-Valley coalfield in Orissa and a coastal site at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The contract for Mundra UMPP has been given to Tata Power while Sasan, Tilaiyya and Krishnapatnam contracts have been awarded to Reliance Power Limited, a part of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.

Operational costs

The project is being developed with the intention of providing power to consumers at minimum cost. Because of the huge size of these power plants, the cost of the electricity would be lower due to the economies of scale. The plants are estimated to cost roughly Rs. 15,000 crores each to set up.[5] The cost of generation per unit is estimated at under Rs. 2.00.[6]

Special purpose vehicles

Special purpose vehicles, or shell companies, have been set up as wholly owned subsidiaries of the Power Finance Corporation Ltd. (PFC) in each of the above states to build, own, and operate ("BOO" in economic parlance) these plants. The proposed shell companies are as follows:[5]

  • Sasan Power Limited (Sasan, Madhya Pradesh)
  • Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (Mundra, Gujarat)
  • Coastal Karnataka Power Limited (Tadri, Karnataka)
  • Coastal Andhra Power Limited (Krishnapatnam, A.P.)
  • Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Limited (Cheyyur, T.N.)
  • Coastal Maharashtra Power Limited (Girye, Maharastra)
  • Orissa Integrated Power Limited (Sundergarh district, Orissa)
  • Jharkhand Integrated Power Limited (Tilaiya, Jharkhand)
  • Akaltara Power Limited (Aklatara, Chattisgarh)

Citizen protest

May 2011: MASS protests Mundra Ultra Mega

In May 2011, a group known as Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS) filed a collective protest against the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project, saying there are high risks to the project without proper mitigation and accountability measures. The protest is targeted against the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector lending arm, whose financing of high-risk coal plants in India faces community resistance. Its Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) has accepted a complaint against the Plant in Mundra, Gujarat. CAO is the independent body of IFC that handles disputes and compliance issues with its investments.

MASS says the plant is located in the special economic zone (SEZ) that cuts across fishing grounds, habitat of diverse marine lives and wide expanse of farm land, and that the project’s social impact assessment is significantly flawed, as fishing communities were excluded from the list of those directly impacted and IFC green lighted the loan without a cumulative impact assessment.

With a total project cost of US$ 4.14 billion, the IFC is investing a $450 million loan and $50 million in equity. Other financial institutions funding the project are the Export-Import Bank of Korea, Asian Development Bank, India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd., Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd., Oriental Bank of Commerce, Vijaya Bank, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Travancore, the State Bank of Indore and other local banks.

The MASS complaint came two months after villagers in Odisha state formally challenged IFC’s funding for the GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited.[7]


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Ultra Mega Power Projects: Status Update," Industry Monitor, December 8, 2011
  2. India Yearbook 2007. Publications Division,Ministry of Information & Broadcasting,Govt. Of India, Pg. 263. ISBN 81-230-1423-6. 
  3. http://www.livemint.com/2010/11/25231550/Conditional-green-waiver-for-O.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 http://m.economictimes.com/PDAET/articleshow/5703788.cms
  5. 5.0 5.1 Microsoft Word - MOP_UMPP.doc
  6. The Hindu Business Line : `Ultra-mega' power plants — Generation cost to be under Rs 2 per unit
  7. "World Bank Group Ombudsman to Probe Tata Mundra Project," Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan Press Release, 2011.

External links

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Ultra Mega Power Projects in India. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.