Uppur power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Uppur power station is a proposed 1600-megawatt (MW) coal plant in Tamil Nadu, India.


The undated satellite photo below shows the proposed location for the project in Thiruvadanai taluk in Ramanathapuram district, according to the project EIA.[1]

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The project is sponsored by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation and will use supercritical technology. Land necessary for the project (1,200 acres) has been identified. According to TANGEDCO, the project will be set up on tariff-based competitive bidding and is to be commissioned by Dec 2015.[2]

In April 2013, it was reported that the project had completed the Detailed Project Report to seek clearance MoEF. Once the MoEF gave its approval, the process of land acquisition would begin. About 300 acres of government land had been identified, and 600 more acres of private land would be sought. The project would be established under the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) model and 0.4 percent of the project cost would be spent for the benefit of local people, according to company Collector K. Nanthakumar.[3]

An EIA was submitted in February 2014.[4] The project applied for environmental clearance in March 2015, which was granted in June 2016.[5]

According to the TANGEDO website, the budget for the project is Rs 12,778 Crores, and the date of commissioning is November 19, 2019.[6] However, according to the Broad Status report, only Rs 775 Lakhs was spent in FY 2015-16 and only Rs 226 Lakhs in FY 2016-17 through February, indicating that construction has not begun and the project will not be completed in 2019.[7] The foundation stone for the power station was laid in July 2016 and the Boiler Turbine Generator (BTG) contract was handed over to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) that month. But the project has remained stuck as the developers have been unable to secure the private land it wants for the project.[8]

In October 2017, it was reported that "tender for BOP Packages yet to be awarded." No proposed start date is offered.[9]

The balance of plant (BoP) contract was awarded to Reliance Infrastructure in February 2018.[10]

According to the India Ministry of Power (March 2019), the plant is planned for operation in 2020.[11]

However, in 2021 it was reported the project is delayed, with commissioning now planned for 2024-2025.[12]


In 2017, India's Power Finance Corporation agreed to provide a US$767 million loan to Tangedco for the Uppur thermal power project. Then, in March 2018, IDFC Infrastructure Fund provided equity financing of $513 million for the project.[13]


In 2014, various organizations, such as the Coastal Action Network, expressed opposition to the construction of the Uppur power plant in a public consultation held over the project. They claimed worries over damaging the agricultural lands, fishing hamlets, mangrove forests, and marine life in the Gulf of Mannar. They also claimed the land acquisition for the coal plant would affect the farmers and fisherfolk in the Ramanathapuram district.[14]

In November 2015, it was reported that farmers from three villages near the Uppur power plant objected to the land acquisition, claiming their livelihoods depended on the lands. They suggested that the government should provide adequate compensation if they were to acquire the lands. The district administration responded that they would determine compensation and land acquisition decisions in the next four months.[15]

On July 1, 2017, farmers, fishermen, and villagers in Tiruvadanai Taluk in Ramanathapuram district went on a hunger strike, in protest of the Uppur power plant construction. Claiming that the power plant would cause more than 50,000 fishing families to relocate and lots of ash deposited, the protestors argued that the production was going on illegally.[16]

On January 5, 2018, hundreds of men and women went to the District Collectorate to stage a dharna in opposition to the construction of the Uppur power plant, citing reasons of water, land, and livelihood risks. They also claimed that the lands were acquired in “gross violation” of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquistion, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.[17]

On January 8, 2018, the Madras High Court ordered notice for a plea that the farmers’ association had filed against the Uppur power plant. They claimed that the power plant is a threat to agricultural lands, water sources, and was being conducted with a proper public hearing. They also claimed that the Ramanathapuram Collector had been using the Superintendent of Police to threaten protestors with shootings.[18]

On June 24, 2018, villagers and members of the ‘Anti Uppur thermal power station struggle committee” staged a demonstration at Uppur, protesting against the acquisition of land for the coal-fired power plant. They demanded that the project be dropped, for concerns of land, see, and air hazards.[19]

In response to activists claiming that the Uppur project would affect marine life and protesting the construction of the plant, the TANGEDCO company in charge of the plant has filed a request for environmental restrictions to be eased.[20]

By 2019, the farmers near the Uppur power plant had filed an appeal in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the environmental clearance granted. This litigation, among others, has slowed down the construction of the Uppur power plant, reportedly.[21]

On August 13, 2019, after protests against the Uppur power plant, the Collector, K. Veera Raghava Roa, held a meeting with the fisherman and residents of Morepannai to discuss the Uppur construction. The talk did not reach an agreement, and another round of talk was scheduled for August 22, 2019.[22] It was reported that after the second round of talk, the fishermen had staged a walkout.[23]

On Thursday, September 19, 2019, fisherman in opposition of the Uppur power plant “laid siege” at the project site near the Morepannai fishing hamlet. There were about 100 boats with black flags on the boats, possibly representing the ash and damage the power plant would bring to the waterways near Uppur.[24]

Project Details

Sponsor: Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation
Location: Uppur, Vadamavur & Thiruppalaikkudi vilages, Thiruvadanai taluk, Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu
Coordinates: 9.545, 78.89666667 (exact)
Status: Construction

  • Unit 1: 800 MW
  • Unit 2: 800 MW

Type: Supercritical
Projected in service: 2024-2025
Coal Source:
Estimated annual CO2:
Source of financing: US$767 million in debt from Power Finance Corporation; $513 million in equity financing from IDFC Infrastructure Fund[13]
Permits and applications: Terms of reference, India MoEF, May 28, 2012; EIA, Feb 2014; Environmental clearance, India MoEF, June 18, 2016

Resources and articles

Related GEM.wiki articles


  1. EIA, TANGEDCO, Feb 2014
  2. "TN TO FLOAT TENDER FOR TWO PROJECTS," Industry Monitor, January 31, 2012
  3. D. J. Walter Scott, "Project report on Uppur thermal power plant ready," The Hindu, April 24, 2013
  4. EIA, Feb 2014
  5. Environmental clearance, India MoEF, June 18, 2016
  7. "Broad Status Report," India Central Electrical Authority, March 2017
  8. "No work on Uppur thermal power plant for six months," The Hindu, Feb 7, 2017
  9. "Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country," Government of India Ministry of Power, October 2017
  10. "Reliance bags Uppur thermal power project," The Hindu, Mar 7, 2018
  11. Broad Status of Thermal Power Plants, India Central Electricity Authority, March 2019
  12. "Broad Status of Thermal Power Plants," India Central Electricity Authority, April 2021
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Uppur Thermal Power Plant Super-critical coal-fired". Retrieved 2020-10-30.
  14. “Madras HC Stays Construction of Uppur Thermal Plant Citing Defunct Land Laws”, Land Conflict Watch, Last updated March 21, 2020.
  15. “Land acquisition begins for thermal power plant”, The Hindu News, November 26, 2015.
  16. “Farmers, fishermen oppose Uppur thermal plant”, DT Next, July 2, 2017.
  17. “Villagers protest against Uppur thermal project”, The Hindu news, January 6, 2018.
  18. “Notice ordered on plea opposing Uppur power project”, DT Next, December 27, 2017.
  19. “Villagers protest against proposed Uppur thermal plant”, The Hindu News, June 24, 2018.
  20. “Ease norms for Uppur thermal power plant, urges TANGEDCO”, The New Indian Express, August 21, 2018.
  21. “Thermal power projects yet to pick up steam in State”, DT Next, October 1, 2019.
  22. “Uppur thermal issue: Collector holds talks with fishermen”, The Hindu News, August 17, 2019.
  23. “Uppur thermal plant: fishermen flay laying of pipeline in sea”, The Hindu News, September 19, 2019.
  24. “Uppur thermal plant: fishermen flay laying of pipeline in sea”, The Hindu News, September 19, 2019.
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