Mundra Thermal Power Project (Adani)

From Global Energy Monitor

The Mundra Thermal Power Project is a 4,620-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Gujarat state, India, conceived for the captive consumption of the Mundra Port by the Adani Group.


The undated satellite photo below shows construction activity at the project site, which is located at Mundra taluk, Kutch district, in Gujarat state, India.

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The total capacity of the plant is 4620 MW, consisting of 4 subcritical units of 330 MW each and 5 supercritical units of 660 MW each.[1] As planned, all units of the plant were fully operational within the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012).[2][3]

Proposed expansion

Adani Power had proposed expanding the plant by 3 x 1,000 MW. In May 2016, the expert advisory committee (EAC) of the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) declined the company's proposal on the grounds that it was situated very close to ecologically sensitive creek and estuary network, as well as a reserved forest, mangrove forest, three small rivers and at least nine villages with schools and hospitals in 'close proximity' to the proposed site. The EAC suggested Adani to find another location for expansion.[4]

Financial problems

Adani Power Mundra likely to seek bankruptcy protection

Adani says the company has been unable to service its power purchase agreement (PPA) for the plant amid rising costs for coal. In response, Adani Power tried to sell a 51 per cent stake in the plant to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam (GUVNL), a state-owned power utility that has power purchase agreements for 2000 MW from the plant. However, lenders for the Mundra plant withdrew from the sale. Without a sale to GUVNL, Adani Power Mundra said it is likely to seek bankruptcy protection. The plant ran at only 37 per cent plant load factor in the first quarter of 2018 and is unable to service its debts. Adani Mining claimed its proposed Carmichael coal mine in Australia was needed to supply the plant.[5]

In 2010, before construction of the project was complete, Adani argued that Gujarat should renegotiate the agreement and allow Adani to sell power at a higher price since the price of Indonesian coal, which it used as a raw material, had gone up. Yet in 2013 it was revealed that Adani Enterprises held 74% of shares in the Indonesian coal company through which the coal was being imported, meaning the company was profiting from the high coal prices.[6]

Bankruptcy avoided by passing costs to power users

In April 2017, the Supreme Court struck down Adani's request for a new power price argument. However, in December 2018 the Gujarat government passed an order allowing Adani to sell power at higher prices to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam, the state electricity distribution company, which in turn was allowed to raise the tariffs for consumers. Accordig to, the Gujarat government order effectively extricated the Mundra power project from potential insolvency proceedings.[6]

Emergency generation order

In February 2023, India’s Ministry of Power ordered all coal plants utilizing imported coal to operate at full capacity between March 16 and June 15, 2023. The Ministry stated that the order was required, as power demand was expected to peak during the period and maximum capacity was necessary. The emergency law affected 15 coal-fired power stations equivalent to 17,600 MW, including the Tata Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project and the Mundra Thermal Power Project (Adani). Coal consumption was expected to increase by 8% in the financial year ending in March 2024.[7]

Project receives CDM certification

Unit 5 of Phase III of the Mundra project was the first plant in India to use supercritical technology, which provides greater efficiency through higher boiler pressures and temperatures. Phase III of the Mundra project received Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) certification under the the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), making it the first supercritical project in the world to receive CDM certification.[8] The award of CDM certification makes the project eligible for subsidies financed by carbon offsets bought by British and European companies in lieu of cutting their own emissions.[9] Awarding CDM credits to coal plants has been widely criticized. According to a report by the Stockholm Environmental Institute, using CDM credits to encourage a more efficient power technology is only appropriate if the more efficient technology is not happening anyway. However, "the transition away from less efficient subcritical technology to supercritical technology in India ... is well under way, if not largely complete."[10]

Don't trust Adani with the Great Barrier Reef

Coal supply

As of 2011, 70% of the requirements at Mundra is met with imported coal.[11]

Adani has proposed the Carmichael Coal Project in Australia to export coal to plants in India. The project would include an open cut and underground coal mine and a 189 km rail link to transport the coal from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point, near the Great Barrier Reef.[12]

Fly ash dumping

In September 2022, Adani was criticized for their management of fly ash, a byproduct of coal-powered thermal power stations. According to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the plant dumped 1.5 million tonnes of fly ash in low-lying areas between 2014 and 2019. The power station's operator did not have permission to dump from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, and they failed to install an online fly ash monitoring system in 2016 when instructed to do so. CAG stated that, "Mundra is the worst NOx hotspot contributing hugely to air pollution".[13]

As of November 2022, the Gujarat State Pollution Control Board had not responded to requests regarding what action, if any, would be taken against the power station.[14]

Project Details

Sponsor: Adani Power Mundra
Parent company: Adani Group
Location: Tunda village, Mundra taluk, Kutch district, Gujarat
Coordinates: 22.8235448, 69.5574957 (exact)
Status: Operating
Phase I

  • Unit 1 - 330 MW - commissioned 2009[3]
  • Unit 2 - 330 MW - commissioned 2010[3]

Phase II

  • Unit 3 - 330 MW - commissioned 2010[3]
  • Unit 4 - 330 MW - commissioned 2010[3]

Phase III

  • Unit 5 - 660 MW - commissioned 2010[3]
  • Unit 6 - 660 MW - commissioned 2011[3]

Phase IV

  • Unit 7 - 660 MW - commissioned 2011[3]
  • Unit 8 - 660 MW - commissioned 2012[3]
  • Unit 9 - 660 MW - commissioned March 9, 2012[15]
  • Phase V (3 x 1,000 MW): Cancelled (proposal rejected by India MoEF)

Nameplate capacity: 4,620 MW

Projected in service:
Coal Type:
Coal Source:
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. "Adani power synchronizes country's 1st super critical unit". 2010-12-23.
  2. "Power Generation" Adani Power, accessed July 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country" Government of India Ministry of Power, February 2012.
  4. Premal Balan, "Adani Power's expansion at Mundra hits green hurdle," TNN, May 26, 2016
  5. "Adani Power Mundra likely to approach NCLT for bankruptcy protection," BS, June 1, 2018
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Adani power project was on the brink of bankruptcy – but the BJP government in Gujarat saved it,", March 5, 2019
  7. "India invokes emergency law to force coal-based power plants to up output," Reuters, February 20, 2023
  8. "Power Generation," Adani website, accessed May 7, 2012
  9. John Vidal, "Rich countries to pay energy giants to build new coal-fired power plants" The Guardian, July 14, 2010.
  10. Michael Lazarus and Chelsea Chandler, "Coal Power in the CDM: Issues and Options," Stockholm Environment Institute, 2011
  11. Neeraj Thakur, "Indonesian nightmare for Tata, Adani, JSW, Lanco" DNA, June 13, 2011.
  12. "Court challenge will test coal mining’s climate culpability," The Conversation, January 15, 2015
  13. "3 power plants dumping fly ash without GPCB approval: CAG report," Indian Express, September 23, 2022
  14. "Authorities turned a blind eye to Adani Group’s pollution and falsehoods," Adani Watch, November 22, 2022

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