Udupi power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Udupi power station is a 1,200-megawatt (MW) power station in Karnataka, India.

Another 1,600 MW has been proposed.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Padubidri Industrial Area, Udupi district, Karnataka state, India. The location is north of State Highway 1, west of Padubidri. It is close to the Shambavi River, roughly 7 or 8 km from the coast where the imported coal for the power plant is transported to the plant through rail line.[1]

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The power station was built by Lanco and owned by Udupi Power Corporation Ltd. (UPCL). It is based on imported coal. The configuration of the operating plant is as follows:[2]

  • Unit 1 - 600 MW - 2010
  • Unit 2 - 600 MW - 2011

According to the India Central Electricity Authority, the second unit of the plant was given an augmented capacity of 600 MW (original capacity was 507.5 MW) that was commissioned on April 16, 2011.[3]

Udupi Thermal Power Plant.avi

Expansion: Units 3 and 4

The company received a terms of reference in 2010 for units 3 & 4, each 660 MW.[4] The company received Terms of Reference for the project on August 11, 2010.[5]

No further permits were sought, as Lanco faced financial difficulties and protests against the expansion.

Adani buys plant, revives expansion

In July 2014 Lanco sold the power station to Adani Power. According to news sources, "the Udupi plant’s capacity is likely to be ramped up soon by another 1,320 MW, with fuel linkages being discussed."[6]

On August 13, 2015, Adani received a terms of reference for a units 3 and 4 of 800 MW each.[7] They would be supercritical and use imported coal.[8][9] In the EIA, released December 2016, Adani said it is debating between super and ultra-supercritical technology for the plant.[10]

Environmental Clearance

Environmental clearance was granted for two 800 MW supercritical units on August 1, 2017.[11] In June 2018 Adani signed a concession agreement with New Mangalore Port Trust for an additional 4.99 hectares of land for the expansion project.[12]

NGT ruling: Illegal Clearances

In March 2019, the principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) at New Delhi declared “illegal” all clearances granted to proposed expansion of the plant. The NGT noted that the “genuinely serious” issues raised by the villagers and petitioner had not been given due attention by the concerned authorities including the government, and said environmental clearance had been granted without following due process prescribed by the law.[13]

New permitting process

On August 12, 2019, Adani Udupi wrote to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, seeking a new terms of reference (ToR) for the expansion of the project.[14] The new terms of reference was granted on October 10, 2019.[15]

The Terms of Reference and NGT had, in part, directed the state government to conduct a carrying capacity study (14-March-2019 and 14-October-2019 Orders).[13]

An Interim Report on environmental carrying capacity of Udupi taluk was conducted by the Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) and reportedly released in early 2021.[16]

The Final Assessment Report was released in December 2021, and concluded the following (in part):[17]

"Expansion of the capacity of the power plant is likely to have adverse implications from air pollution including dust, marine ecology, and groundwater and soil contamination from heavy metals. Inadequate/non-functional environmental management practices/facilities followed/established by UPCL need corrective actions before expansion plan is considered. It is felt that additional studies, for example on the effect of coal dust on agricultural crops; dust fall and its impacts; implications of the violation of CRZ notification rules for marine biodiversity; and, impacts of air pollution and water contamination on the health of villagers; would be useful for better socio-ecological and economic outcomes."

(For additional information, see Appeal Number 86 of 2017 (SZ), Janajagrithi Samithi, Karnataka Vs Union of India.)

May 2022 NGT Ruling

On May 31, 2022, the National Green Tribunal imposed a hefty penalty of over Rs 52 crore (US $6.7 million) on the plant for violating environmental rules. Based upon its finding that the Adani Group’s environmental management of Udupi has been inadequate, the tribunal has directed India’s Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to conduct a more stringent impact assessment before approving the project’s expansion. The tribunal has directed the MoEF&CC to take the Carrying Capacity Study into account while considering the application for approval of the project’s expansion by issuing additional terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment study. It said the terms of reference should include an assessment of the proposed expansion’s impacts on socio-economic conditions, taking into account past violations and pollution of agricultural land. It called for the precautionary principle to be applied by those bodies considering the approval.[18]

Coal supply

The Udupi power station has a captive jetty of 4 million tonnes per annum, and an external coal handling system located at the New Mangalore Port in Mangalore, Karanataka.[19]

June 2011: Protesters block railway to protest coal transportation to Udupi power station

June 1, 2011: Activists with Karnataka Rajva Raitha Sangha block the Mangalore-Mumbai Matsyagandha Express to protest coal shipments

On June 1, 2011, activists with the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) blocked the Mangalore-Mumbai Matsyagandha Express train for 10 minutes in Nandikoor, Karnataka. The purpose of the protest was to show opposition to the transportation of coal by railway from the New Mangalore Port to the Udupi station. According to the activists, a condition for the environmental clearance granted to the plant was that coal would be transported through a closed conveyer system. Transportation in open railroad cars was producing damage to crops, agricultural land, drinking water, and public health, according to the activists.[20] Local resident Sundari Shetti complained, “The house is always coated with a thick layer of ash. I have difficulty in breathing and the constant drone of Lorries transporting fly ash way into the midnight has affected my health.” Village panchayat president Sunil Raj Shetty said that no permission had been sought from the local administration before giving the ash pond the green signal. He said, “It used to be a fresh water lake - the Daddikere Lake.”[21]

Project details for expansion (Units 3 and 4)

Sponsor: Udupi Power Corporation Limited
Parent: Adani Power
Location: Padubidri Industrial Area, Yelluru, Santuru, Tenka & Bada villages, Udupi district, Karnataka
Coordinates: 13.1596, 74.8002[1](exact)
Status: Announced
Capacity: 1,600 MW (Units 3-4: 800 MW)
Type: Supercritical[5]
Projected in service:
Coal Type:
Coal Source: Imported via New Mangalore Port[9]
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing:
Permits: Terms of Reference, India MoEF, Aug 11, 2010; Terms of reference, India MoEF, Aug 13, 2015; Environmental Clearance, India MoEF, Aug 1, 2017; Terms of reference, India MoEF, October 10, 2019; Interim Report 2021

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lanco Udupi Coal Mega Power Plant India, Global Energy Observatory, accessed March 2012
  2. Lanco, "Power", Lanco website, accessed July 2011.
  3. "India Central Electricity Authority Monthly Report," India Central Electricity Authority, April 2011.
  4. "Pending Application of IPPs up to July 31, 2011," Ministry of Coal
  5. 5.0 5.1 "J-13012/73/2010 - IA. II (T)," Ministry of Environment and Forests, August 11, 2010
  6. "With Udupi plant under belt, Adani Power’s installed capacity to cross 10440 MW," The Hindu, August 2014.
  7. Terms of reference, India MoEF, Aug 13, 2015
  8. Cover letter for Form 1," Adani, May 15, 2015
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Adani’s Udupi power plant to add 1600 MW by 2020," The Hindu, Sep 1, 2016
  10. "EIA," Adani Power, Dec 2016
  11. Environmental Clearance, India MoEF, Aug 1, 2017
  12. "Adani Power arm gets more land at NMPT for project expansion," The Hindu, June 15, 2018
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Clearance for UPCL expansion project 'illegal': NGT," Deccan Herald, March 15, 2019
  14. "Amid NGT riders, Adani UPCL revives expansion bid," deccanherald.com, August 30, 2019
  15. Terms of reference, India MoEF, October 10, 2019
  16. "Interim Report," Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute (EMPRI), 2021
  17. "Final Assessment Report: Environmental Carrying Capacity study for expansion of 2 X 600 MW Udupi Power Plant," Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute (EMPRI), December 2021
  18. "‘Gross environmental mismanagement’: Adani’s Udupi coal-power plant fined over US $6 million," Adani Watch, June 24, 2022
  19. "Adani completes Lanco’s INR 6,300-cr. Udupi power plant deal," Exim News Service, May 4, 2015
  20. "KRRS protests against Konkan Railway for transporting coal to UPCL," The Hindu, June 2, 2011
  21. Garima Goel, "Part 1: The arrogant neighbor," The Manipal Journal, March 22, 2011

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