Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project
The map below shows the approximate location of the project in Cheyyur.
The project has been proposed by the government of India as part of a strategy to add an additional 100,000 megawatts of generation capacity by 2017. The 4,000 megawatt project is in the state of Tamil Nadu.
In August 2014 it was reported that the state government would begin work on the project even though bids for its construction and operation had yet to be awarded. In January 2015 state-owned NTPC was the sole bidder on the project. The bid was later cancelled due to tepid private sector response and funding issues raised by bankers, although the state plans to finalize bidding by the end of the year.
In March 2016 the India government said it planned to bid out three ultra mega power projects that year: Cheyyur in Tamil Nadu, Bedabahal in Odisha and Banka in Bihar. According to India's proposed Electricity Plan 2017-2022, fresh bids will be issued on the UMPP after finalization of standard bidding documents by the expert committee.
In December 2018, Power Finance Corporation submitted an online application to the India Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to change its source of coal from imported to domestic. On January 23, 2019, the MoEFCC said a completely fresh application for the project's environmental impact assessment was required, due to the change from imported to domestic coal.
Coastal Tamil Nadu Power have estimated that the power station would need between 12 and 14 Million tonnes a year or daily consumption of between 40,000 to 45,000 tonnes. The company has stated that the coal for the project would be imported, but as yet no source has been specified.
In May 2017, departing from previous plans to use imported coal, Energy Minister Goyal stated that the project would be allotted domestic coal.
The company have proposed that coal for the proposed power station would be imported via a "captive port" proposed to be constructed near the village of Panaiyur, in Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, India. The coal loader would be approximately 5 kilometres to the east of the main power plant location at Cheyyur. Coal would be transported from the port to the power station via a closed conveyor system. (See Panaiyur coal terminal for more details).
It has been reported that, "Fishermen in Panaiyur Periakuppam village, where the captive coal jetty for the plant would be situated, fear that the project would completely destroy their livelihood. A port is expected to come up between the village and its neighbouring hamlet occupying shorefront of 650 meters. The coal stockyard will hold 310,000 tonnes of coal and would be built on an 83-acre land. The villagers have challenged the clearance given to the coal jetty in the National Green Tribunal and say they would do the same for the power project. Interestingly, the plant and coal jetty are proposed to be set up 6 km apart."
The 2015 IEEFA report by Tom Sanzillo, “Cheyyurr UMPP: Financial Plan Will Make Electricity Unaffordable,” claims the Cheyyur project would undermine the Indian government’s public policy goal of providing affordable electricity for all. According to the report:
- Although the India government is trying to make the project more attractive to investors, it would do this by passing along greater costs to the residential, industrial, and agricultural users, and requiring greater governmental subsidies.
- Already the ratepayer tariff required to build and operate the plant is estimated at 4.9 rupees per kilowatt-hour in 2021, its first of year operation, and the plant would require an average tariff of 5.95 rupees per kilowatt hour over its 40-year life. (By comparison, four other UMPP projects in India and several additional Indian power-generation projects have tariff costs of 1.15 rupee per kilowatt hour to 3.7 rupee per kilowatt hour.)
- The project is being developed under the assumption that it would require an annual 12 to 14 million tons of imported coal, a business model that would put its coal costs at roughly twice what they would be if domestic coal were used.
In 2019, IEEFA described the project as "stranded due to a lack of interest in Ultra Mega Power Project construction, and concern over the cost of imported coal. Now undercut by lower cost, deflationary renewables".
Sponsor: Coastal Tamil Nadu Power
Parent: Power Finance Corporation
Location: Cheyyur Block-B, Chitharkadu, etc. villages, Cheyyur taluk, Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu
Coordinates: 12.3125, 79.9825 (exact)
Nameplate capacity: 4,000MW
Projected in service: 5 years from the start of the project so approx 2017-2018
Coal Source: domestic
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing: Not yet finalised
Permits and applications: Environmental Clearance, India MoEF, September 30, 2013; Environmental Impact Assessment, December, 2012
Articles and resources
- Rebecca Petchey, Michael Lampard and Alan Copeland, Thermal coal", Australian commodities, ABARE, Volume 17 number 1, March quarter 2010, page 155.
- Amiti Sen & Subhash Narayan, "States make case for second UMPP with advanced land clearances", Economic Times, (India), March 20, 2010.
- "Government begins work on four new ultra mega power projects," The Economic Times, Aug 24, 2014.
- "NTPC sole bidder for Cheyyur power project," Deccan Chronicle, Jan 5, 2015
- "Delay in land acquisition, other reasons, hit ultra mega power projects," PTI, Feb 26, 2015
- "Energiser for mega power projects," Telegraph, March 1, 2016
- India Electricity Plan 2017-2022, India CEA, Dec 2016, page Intro 1.25
- "How economic and environmental concerns are stalling mega power projects," The News Minute, Mar 1, 2019
- Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, Executive Summary of Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment of proposed Captive marine terminal and coal conveyor off Panaiyur Chinnakkuppam for Cheyyur UMPP", September 2011, page 3.
- Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, "Executive Summary of Rapid EIA Study for Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project(4000 MW", Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, undated but approximately June 2011, page 2. (pdf)
- Debapriya Mondal, "Cheyyur UMPP to be built on domestic coal: Piyush Goyal," Energy World, May 19, 2017
- Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, Executive Summary of Comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment of proposed Captive marine terminal and coal conveyor off Panaiyur Chinnakkuppam for Cheyyur UMPP", September 2011, page 2.
- "Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Plant, Tamil Nadu, India" Environmental Justice Network, accessed April 21, 2014.
- "Seriously Stressed and Stranded The Burden of Non-Performing Assets in India's Thermal Power Sector" (PDF). IEEFA. December 2019.
- "PFC 30th Annual Report, 2015-2016," pages 151-152
- Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, "Executive Summary of Rapid EIA Study for Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project(4000 MW", Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, undated but approximately June 2011, page 4. (pdf)
- Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, "Executive Summary of Rapid EIA Study for Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project(4000 MW", Coastal Tamil Nadu Power, undated but approximately June 2011, page 5. (pdf)