Farakka power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Farakka power station is a 2,100 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in West Bengal, India.


The plant is located at Murshidabad in West Bengal.

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The power station is owned and operated by the National Thermal Power Corporation. It consist of the following units:[1]

  • Unit 1 - 200 MW - 1986
  • Unit 2 - 200 MW - 1986
  • Unit 3 - 200 MW - 1987
  • Unit 4 - 500 MW - 1992
  • Unit 5 - 500 MW - 1994
  • Unit 6 - 500 MW - 2011 (Farakka III power station)


According to the India Central Electricity Authority, a sixth unit of the plant (500 MW) - Farakka III power station - was commissioned on March 23, 2011.[2]

Coal supply problems

A March 2012 article in the Indian Express described coal shortages at the Farakka plant and others across India:[3]

Two projects that were perennially short on coal through whole of last year were NTPC Ltd’s 2,340 MW Kahalgaon station in Bihar and the 2,100 MW Farakka station in West Bengal. The irony is that while Kahalgaon is located right on the pithead (at the coal mine itself, so that there is no need to transfer the coal to the plant), Farakka is not too far. And both are among stations that form the backbone of the eastern region’s generation sector. While the Farakka station has infrastucture in place to operate at over 90 per cent plant load factor, the utility is mostly operating at only 70 per cent because of the short supply of coal. The shortfall in domestic supplies is being made up by imports, which, in turn, jacks up tariffs. The problem here is that most coal reserves in the east are located in Maoist-infested areas. A senior government official says that the entire coal mining value chain in the eastern region is ridden with trade unionism and gangs who pilfer coal, especially from easy targets that include public sector firms or smaller private power producers. The head of a mid-sized state-owned generation firm has repeatedly been complaining about local Coal India employees colluding with middlemen to siphon off his fuel. “The coal mafia is strong and there is absolutely no guarantee that coal will reach the designated consumer, despite assurances from Kolkata (where Coal India is headquartered) or New Delhi,” the official says. With the coal crisis showing little sign of a resolution, despite the Prime Minister’s intervention, utilities across the country have been instructed to make design changes in all future coal-fired projects to enable higher imported coal blending. However, running power plants on imported coal involves an entirely different challenge.

Water shortages

In April 2016 it was reported that an unprecedented dip in the water level of the Farakka canal forced NTPC to suspend generation at five of the six units of the power station.[4]

Project Details

Sponsor: Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC)
Location: Murshidabad, West Bengal, India
Coordinates: 24.772, 87.894 (exact)
Status: Operating
Capacity: 2,100 MW
Projected in service: Unit 6: Operating 2011[5]
Coal Type:
Coal Source:
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. National Thermal Power Corporation, "Coal Based Power Stations ", National Thermal Power Corporation website, accessed June 2010.
  2. "India Central Electricity Authority Monthly Report," India Central Electricity Authority, March 2011.
  3. RAJIB CHATTERJEE , Anil Sasi, "From Jhajjar to Farakka, new to old, fuel shortage hits 130 power units," Indian Express, March 14, 2012
  4. "NTPC suspends power generation from Farakka," The Hindu, Apr 5, 2016
  5. "Farakka STPS Coal Power Station India," Global Energy Observatory, accessed March 2012

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