Cuddalore IL&FS power station

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Cuddalore IL&FS power station is an operating power station of at least 1200-megawatts (MW) in Kothattai, Chidambaram, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Cuddalore IL&FS power station Kothattai, Chidambaram, Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India 11.5216092, 79.7518447 (approximate)

The map below shows the approximate location of the power station.

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Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Phase I Unit 1 operating coal - bituminous 600 supercritical 2015
Phase I Unit 2 operating coal - bituminous 600 supercritical 2016
Phase II Unit 1 cancelled coal - bituminous 660 supercritical
Phase II Unit 2 cancelled coal - bituminous 660 supercritical
Phase II Unit 3 cancelled coal - unknown 660 unknown

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Phase I Unit 1 Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) [100.0%]
Phase I Unit 2 Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) [100.0%]
Phase II Unit 1 Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) [100.0%]
Phase II Unit 2 Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) [100.0%]
Phase II Unit 3 Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Permit(s): May 31, 2010 – Environmental Clearance; Environmental Clearance Amendment: 2014-02-04


  • Source of financing: debt from a consortium of 19 banks[1]


The project received environmental clearance in 2010 as a 3,600 MW thermal power project to be developed in phases, with Phase-I comprising 2 x 600 MW units and Phase-II comprising the remaining 2,400 MW (3X800 MW).[2]

On April 13, 2012, Power Construction Corporation of China said it had signed a $2.4 billion contract to build the second phase of the coal-fired power complex. IL&FS said it would import coal from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa to fuel the plant. It said it had acquired a mine in Indonesia to supply the generators. IL&FS plans to sell the power from the project to state-run distribution companies on a long-term basis as well as in the open market.[3]

The project faced delays due to an order by National Green Tribunal in June 2012 for a flue gas desulphurisation unit. Due to this, the two units were proposed to come up by December 2014 and February 2015, respectively, at a cost of Rs 9,500 crore.[2]

In February 2014, the project was amended to be 2X600 MW and 3X660 MW.[4]

On November 10, 2014, the National Green Tribunal cancelled the Environmental Clearance for the project, on the grounds that the project had not conducted a proper cumulative impact assessment of the project.[5] It ordered “a fresh review of the environmental clearance on the basis of a fresh cumulative impact assessment study.”[6]

Unit 1 was commissioned in September 2015 and unit 2 in March 2016.[7]

With no forward progress more than two years after receiving environmental clearance, Phase II appears to be abandoned.


In December 2009, a loan agreement was closed for the development of Phase I of the project with a consortium of 19 banks; however, no further details about the financing are available.[1]

Debt & operating status

During a May 2022 heatwave, energy minister RK Singh held conferences with companies, banks, and state officials to discuss restarting commissioned but “non-operational” units. The plants considered appeared to include Salaya power plant, Butibori Power Project, Nasik RattanIndia Thermal Power Project, Simhapuri Thamminapatnam power station, Meenakshi Energy Thermal Power Project, Mutiara Coastal Energen Thermal Power Plant, and Cuddalore IL&FS power station. Revival of the “imported coal-based units” at the power station was going to be discussed with “lenders, NTPC and the state governments.”[8]

The plant has been the subject of much controversy over the years. For example, NCLAT noted adverse observations in a Transaction Review Report and Forensic Audit Report against ITPCL. ITCPL was charged with collusive and unfair dealings in awarding the contracts and conducting other affairs. "[P]er the road map for the IL&FS group," a public process was reportedly launched for the sale of the debt-ridden Group's stake in ITPCL but no binding bids were received in the sale process. Reporting also noted: "the project of Unit-1 and Unit-2 has already been completed and both the units are generating power and ITPCL is receiving commercial benefits out of the generation of power, however, SEPCO and Shandong, who have completed their part of the contract, have not been paid their dues."[9]

As of July 2022, the status of the plant was unclear.

Reported pollution

In August 2023, an analysis of environmental impacts from several coal plants and mines in Tamil Nadu found widespread air, soil, and water pollution. Cuddalore IL&FS power station, New Neyveli Thermal Power Station, Neyveli Thermal Power Station I, and Neyveli Thermal Power Station II were included in the study, which was conducted by Poovulagin Nanbargal (Friends of the Earth Tamil Nadu) and the research NGO Manthan Adhyayan Kendra. The study found high concentrations of mercury, selenium, and fluoride in several drinking water sources near NLC mines and power stations. Water samples near the IL&FS plant in Parangipettai contained fluoride, iron, calcium, magnesium, and silicon above legal limits. The report recommended stricter regulation of the mines and power plants and measures to cut effluent discharges and the dumping of coal ash in local waterbodies.[10][11]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Cuddalore Thermal Power Plant (Phase I)". Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "IL&FS Cuddalore power project delayed," Projects Today, Nov 20, 2013.
  3. Charlie Zhu and Sanjeev Choudhary, "China power giant inks $2.4 bln India project," Reuters, April 13, 2012.
  4. Environmental clearance amendment, India MoEF, Feb 4, 2014.
  5. "Appeal no. 50/2012," NGT, November 10, 2014
  6. "NGT quashes eco nod for Cuddalore power plant," The Hindu, 12 November 2014
  7. "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, March 2016
  8. “Power Minister RK Singh to meet states, lenders on reviving stressed plants,” Economic Times, May 2, 2022
  9. "NCLAT asks IL&FS to consider claims of ITCPL's operational creditors, file supplementary plan," Discourse on Development, July 4, 2022
  10. "POWERing Pollution: The Environmental Impacts of Thermal Power Stations and Mining Operations in Neyveli & Parangipettai," Poovulagin Nanbargal and Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, August 8, 2023
  11. "Report finds several environmental and pollution issues affecting villagers in and around the two power stations in Chennai’s Neyveli and Cuddalore," The Hindu, August 8, 2023

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.