Kahalgaon Super Thermal Power Plant

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The Kahalgaon power station is a 2340 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Bhagalpur, Bihar state. The most recent edition is Unit 7 (500 MW), completed in 2010. Unit 7 is also known as Stage II, Phase II.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in the village of Kahalgaon, Bhagalpur district, Bihar, India

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The power station is owned by Bihar State Electricity Board and National Thermal Power Corporation.[1][2]

Coal supply problems

A March 2012 article in the Indian Express described coal shortages at the Kahalgaon 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 infrastructure 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."

Expansion proposal

The Bihar State Electricity Board reports that an expansion of 500 MW was approved by the SIPB in its meeting on March 26, 2007, that 600 acres of land were identified at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district, and that an application was submitted to the Ministry of Coal for a coal block allocation. The report states, "Progress has not been reported by firm."[4]

Project Details

Location: Kahalgaon village, Bhagalpur district, Bihar
Coordinates: 25.2369032, 87.2655952 (exact)
Stage I

  • Unit 1: Operating 1992
  • Unit 2: Operating 1994
  • Unit 3: Operating 1995
  • Unit 4: Operating 1996

Stage II

  • Unit 5: Operating 2008
  • Unit 6: Operating 2009

Stage II, Phase II

  • Unit 7: Operating 2010

Nameplate capacity: 2,340 existing MW
Stage I

  • Unit 1: 210 MW
  • Unit 2: 210 MW
  • Unit 3: 210 MW
  • Unit 4: 210 MW

Stage II

  • Unit 5: 500 MW
  • Unit 6: 500 MW

Stage II, Phase II

  • Unit 7: 500 MW

Projected in service:
Coal Type:
Coal Source:
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing:
Permit for Unit 7: Environmental Clearance, Ministry of Environment and Forest, 20 May 2004

Articles and resources


  1. "Government of India Ministry of Power Monthly Report," December 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kahalgaon STPS Coal Station India, Global Energy Observatory, accessed March 2012
  3. RAJIB CHATTERJEE , Anil Sasi, "From Jhajjar to Farakka, new to old, fuel shortage hits 130 power units," Indian Express, March 14, 2012
  4. "New projects," Bihar State Electricity Board, accessed February 2012

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External resources

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