Trombay Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Trombay Power Station is a 1580 megawatt (MW) thermal plant in Maharashtra, India.

750 MW is coal-fired.

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Mahul village.

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Background

Trombay Power Station was established in 1956 to provide power to the city of Mumbai. The coal-fired unit 3 (60 MW) and unit 4 (150 MW) were commissioned in the 1960s and have been retired.[1]

Unit 5 (500 MW) and Unit 8 (250 MW) are run on coal, Unit 6 on oil, and Unit 7 on gas. Tata Power has said the rising cost of fuel oil has led the company to consider conversion to imported coal. Tata has proposed converting the 500 MW Unit 6 from fuel oil to imported coal, and submitted a draft environmental impact assessment report for the proposal in October 2012.[2]

Coal imports

Approximately 2.4 million tonnes of coal for the existing coal-fired units is imported by a project specific coal berth. Tata Power has proposed that the capacity of the Trombay Coal Terminal be expanded to 4.4 million tonnes a year and an additional coal storage area be built.[3]

Coal for the power station is supplied from Indonesia. In March 2007 Tata Power purchased a 30% stake in two coal mines owned by Bumi Resources --PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) and PT Arutmin Indonesia (Arutmin). Announcing the deal, Bumi stated that Tata Power had entered into a "long term" coal off-take agreement with KPC "for the supply of approximately 10 million tonnes per annum at index linked prices for its power plant at Trombay in India as well as for future power projects, including the recently won Ultra Mega Power Project of 4,000MW at Mundra in India."[4]

Unit 6 conversion from oil and gas to coal

Tata Power proposes to convert the existing oil and gas-fired boiler to a sub-critical coal fired boiler burning "imported low sulphur, low ash coal". The company states that the cost of the project would be 1174 Crores (approx US$214 million as of January 2013).[5]

In the Executive Summary of the EIS, Tata Power argues that in 2011-12 year there was a shortfall of 1123 MW in capacity and states that Unit 6 is currently only being operated at 50% of capacity. The company states that:

"With the increase in the cost of LSHS/LSFO of desired low sulphur, the Unit #6 generation is becoming unaffordable to the consumers. Hence, Tata Power has proposed modernization of existing Unit #6 by change of fuel to use low sulphur imported coal instead of LSHS/LSFO. Unit #6 (500 MW) is operational since 1990. It is currently being operated on LSHS/LSFO and gas as and when available. LSHS/LSFO of desired low sulphur is not available locally in adequate quantity to meet the environment norms. It has to be imported at very high cost resulting in uneconomical generation cost of power from Unit #6."
"Natural gas is not available in sufficient quantity and is unlikely to be available in near future also. With the widening gap between demand and supply of power, it is necessary that existing Unit #6 should be operated at full capacity with the only alternative fuel available which is low sulphur imported coal. Thus proposed modernization of Unit # 6 with coal firing is essential to meet the demand of power at reasonable cost to consumers."[6]

The company states that coal consumption if the unit was converted would be approximately 2 million tonnes per annum.[7]

In mid-December Tata Power stated in a media release, issued by the PR firm Edelman, that it "sees vested interests spreading misinformation & impeding progress" but did not state exactly what it saw the "misinformation" as being.[8]

The conversion to coal received environmental clearance on May 8, 2014.[9]

As of February 2018 construction has not begun.[10][11]

With no apparent progress toward construction since 2014, the project appears to be abandoned.

In September 2019 Tata Power told the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) that it had retired and begun decommissioning of the oil-fired Unit 6. The CEA stated that the unit had been retired due to the high cost of generation and the failure to obtain a new power purchase agreement after the expiry of a contract in March 2019. However, the Economic Times report noted that "the company, till the time of going to press, did not comment on ET’s queries on whether the company would look at setting up another unit to replace this unit."[12]

Opposition

Upon the proposal of the Trombay power station by Tata Power Company in the 1980s, Debi Goenka, executive trustee of the Conservative Action Trust, filed a case against the company in the Bombay High Court. He expressed concern that the modifications to the Trombay power station with low sulphur imported coal would be a “worst fear” coming true.[13]

After the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) gave clearance for the Tata Power Company to switch to coal use, the Shiv Sena claimed it would re-launch opposition against the EAC’s approval. They claimed concerns about damages to Mumbai’s environment. A representative from the Conservation Action Trust, Debi Goenka, called the EAC’s approval “totally unacceptable.”[14]

On September 20, 2014, residents near the Trombay power plant challenged the environmental clearance for the Trombay plant to use coal. The Chembur Citizens’ Forum opposed the clearances granted for the Trombay plans, claiming it would cause immense pollution, environmental problems, and negative effects on the health of nearby residents. Residents said that their concerns were understated in the hearing in September.[15]

The Trombay proposal faced opposition from political parties like Shiv Sena and NGOs due to fear of pollution levels rising in December 2014. The National Green Tribunal had heard challenges around the environmental clearance for the Trombay power station, and a public hearing was scheduled for January 22, 2015.[16]

On February 27, 2019, appeals to the environmental clearance for the Trombay power plant’s coal use were heard. The appeals were filed by activists, including the Conservation Action Trust. They argued that the use of coal would negatively impact ash and air quality. The National Green Tribunal subsequently ordered an “independent ‘scenario analysis’” within three months to determine the effect of the plant on air, water, and land.[17]

Project Details for Unit 6 conversion

Sponsor: Tata Power
Location: Mahul village, Mumbai district, Maharashtra
Coordinates: 19.0027, 72.8979 (exact)
Status: Cancelled
Nameplate capacity:[18]

  • Unit 3: 60 MW - (Coal) - Retired
  • Unit 4: 150 MW - (Coal) - Retired 2016
  • Unit 5: 500 MW - (Coal)
  • Unit 6: 500 MW - (Oil) - Retired 2019
  • Unit 7: 180 MW - Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP)
  • Unit 8: 250 MW - (Coal)

Type: Subcritical
Projected in service:
Coal Source: Imported coal
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing:
Permits and applications:

Resources and articles

Related GEM.wiki articles


References

  1. "Decommissioning of unit 4 (150MW) at Trombay Thermal Power Station, Chembur, Mumbai-reg.," India CES, Feb 8, 2017
  2. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report, October 2012.
  3. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report, October 2012, page 4.
  4. Bumi Resources, "Bumi Announces Sale of 30% stake in its coal companies to Tata Power", Media Release, March 30, 2007.
  5. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report: Executive Summary, October 2012, page 2.
  6. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report: Executive Summary, October 2012, pages 3-4.
  7. Tata Power, "The Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit # 6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report: Executive Summary, October 2012, page 4.
  8. Tata Power, "Tata Power Proposes Cost Reduction for Its Mumbai Customers Through Modernization Of 500 Mw Unit # 6 at Trombay Thermal Power Station", Media Release, December 17, 2012.
  9. Environmental clearance, India MoEF, May 8, 2014
  10. "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, March 2016
  11. "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, February 2018
  12. Rachita Prasad, "Tata Power decommissions 500-MW unit at Trombay in Mumbai citing high cost", Economic Times, September 23, 2019.
  13. “Tata Power plans to replace gas with coal in Trombay unit”, The Hindu News, January 2, 2013.
  14. “Tata’s Trombay thermal plant conversion gets conditional nod”, Business Standard News, December 17, 2013.
  15. “Tata power plant’s plan to switch to coal as fuel hits NGT hurdle”, The Indian Express, September 23, 2014.
  16. “Govt panel supports coal-based Trombay plant of Tata Power”, Mint, December 27, 2014.
  17. “NGT orders study for revamp of power plant in Chembur”, The Times of India, March 5, 2019.
  18. "Final Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the Proposed Modernisation of Existing Unit #6 (500 MW) by change of fuel at Trombay Thermal Power Station," Tata Power, April 2013

External Articles

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