Bhavnagar power station
Bhavnagar power station, also known as Padva power station, is a 500-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Gujarat, India.
The satellite photo shows the plant in Padva village, Ghogha taluk, Bhavnagar district, Gujarat state.
GPCL is a nodal agency set up by the state government to promote power projects in the state. GPCL proposed the power station through Bhavnagar Energy, and received environmental clearance for the power station in 2010. According to the Central Electricity Authority, the first two units of 250 MW each are under construction and projected to be commissioned in 2013.
GPCL describes a somewhat smaller project, stating on its website that projects under implementation include a 3 x 125 MW pit head lignite-based power project in Bhavnagar district. The site also states that mining leases have been granted to GPCL in Surkha-I.
The project was later put under GPCL subsidiary Bhavnagar Electric Company Ltd (BECL). According to the BECL website: "BECL has been promoted to exploit the lignite resources available in the Bhavnagar district in the Saurashtra region for Power generation purpose. Hence, it was proposed to install 2 X 250 MW lignite based Thermal power Station at village Padva, taluka Ghogha of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat."
Although the units were reported to be commissioned, satellite photos from September 2016 through November 2018 suggest the units are operating sporadically. Satellite photos from November 2018 through December 2019 also show long periods without operation.
On December 23, 2017, villagers in Bhavnagar district of India held a massive protest. Around 5,000-7,000 villagers sat on a dharna at Surkha village, along a road connecting 12 other villages. The protest was over how the Gujarat Power Corporation Limited (GPCL), the company in charge of the Bhavnagar power plant, had taken physical possession of their land without discussion. The state administration responded to the protest by “promising a meeting between villagers” and GPCL, while also asking villagers to not stay any more protests for 45 days.
On April 1, 2018, around 50 farmers were detained by police in Gujarat, as thousands of farmers had protested against the possession of their land for the building of the Bhavnagar power plant. The police fired about 50 teargas shells and baton-charged the protestors, while the farmers claimed that they had been engaging in a peaceful protest. At least five people were reportedly injured.
In May 2018, police arrested over 500 farmers protesting against the establishment of three proposed lignite mines to supply the Bhavnagar power station. According to the Times of India, an estimated 1000 people gathered to protest against Gujarat Power Corporation Limited’s (GPCL) occupation of 1415 hectares of land it bought before 2005 but which was subsequently reoccupied and farmed by displaced villagers. The farmers have launched legal action to have the land acquisition declared void due to GPCL’s delay in occupying the land.
On May 13, 2018, nearly 700 people from 12 villages of Ghogha and Bhavnagar rallied on 15 tractors and 100 bikes from Turka village to Badi and Pdva villagers, where the Bhavnagar power plant was planning to be built. The protestors tried to enter the construction site to stop the work, but around 100 policemen were called to stop the protestors. The police eventually lobbed 62 teargas shells to disperse the protestors from the construction plant. Around nine people were reportedly injured, including a seven-year-old child and two women.
On May 14, 2018, 355 farmers, including 138 women, were released from police-hold on bail after protests the previous day. They had been arrested by police on May 13, 2018. By this point in time, the leader of the farmers, Kanaksinh Gohil, said that 1,114 affected farmers had written to the President of the India for permission “for passive euthanasia” as a result of their “robbed land” for the Bhavnagar power plant.
Sponsor: Bhavnagar Energy
Location: Padva village, Ghogha taluk, Bhavnagar district, Gujarat
Coordinates: 21.5831517, 72.2221792 (exact)
Nameplate capacity: 500 MW (Units 1-2: 250 MW)
Type: Circulating fluidized bed
Start year: 2016 (Unit 1), 2017 (Unit 2)
Coal Source: local lignite
Estimated annual CO2: 2,217,638 tons
Source of financing:
Permits and applications: Environmental clearance, India MoEF, Feb 2, 2010
Resources and articles
- Environmental clearance, India MoEF, Feb 2, 2010
- Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country, Central Electricity Authority, September 2012
- "Power Projects: List of Approvals and Clearances required for implementation of Power Projects," GPCL, accessed February 2012.
- About Us, Bhavnagar Energy, accessed September 2015
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, October 2016
- "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, March 2017
- “Farmers Protest in Gujarat as Government Starts Taking Possession of Land Acquired in 1997”, The Wire, February 26, 2018.
- “50 Held as Gujarat Police Crack Down on Farmers’ Protest Over Coal Plant”, Press Trust of India, April 1, 2018.
- "62 teargas shells lobbed as farmers clash with policy," Times of India, 14 May 2018
- “62 teargas shells lobbed as farmers clash with police”, The Times of India, May 14, 2018.
- “Bhavnagar Lignite mining: Held for rioting, 355 farmers get bail”, The Indian Express, May 16, 2018.