Mundra Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP)

Year:2013

Duration:5 years

Cost:Unknown

Country: India

What did this project achieve?

Build an energy-efficient, coal-fired power plant

Mundra power plant is a power station in the Kutch district of Gujarat in India. It’s India’s first 800MW thermal plant and one of the biggest in the world.

A thermal power plant creates heat – usually used to turn water into steam. The steam drives a turbine which then generates electricity.

The Mundra scheme is part of India’s ultra-mega power plant (UMPP) programme of coal-based power stations. The UMPP project stems from the ‘Power for all by 2012’ government initiative launched in 2005.

Mundra aims to achieve a generation capacity of 20,000MW by 2020.

It claims to be the most energy-efficient, coal-based thermal plant in India.

The plant supplies power to five states: Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra in western India and Haryana and Punjab in the north of the country.

The scheme aims to provide a competitive source of power for the 5 states’ growing need for electricity. Many of the states’ industries currently rely on expensive standby diesel generators to meet electricity requirements.

Mundra plant was designed to have lower greenhouse emissions. When it’s generating at full capacity, it’s expected to meet 2% of India’s total power needs.

Difference the project could make

Mundra’s cheaper electricity should improve access to power in both rural and urban areas of India, while reducing the need for subsidies from state governments.

The scheme could benefit nearly 16m domestic consumers as well as supplying cost competitive power to industry and agriculture.

The project is credited with creating 5,000 jobs during the plant’s construction as well as operational employment for 700 people.

How the work was done

Mundra power plant is made up of nine units. Units 1 to 4 each have a generating capacity of 330MW. Units 5 to 9 have a generating capacity of 660MW apiece. The units have been commissioned in phases since 2009.

Engineers designed the 660MW units using supercritical technology. This means they burn less coal to produce power.

The 660MW units are estimated to reduce carbon emissions by up to 20% compared to conventional thermal power units. The units have an estimated efficiency of more than 40% as they operate at high temperatures and pressures.

Unit 5 has the world’s first supercritical technology certified by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for carbon credits. It was commissioned in June 2011.

Engineers used sea water to cool the power plant. Water is transported using large diameter glass-reinforced pipes. Mundra was the first scheme in India to use the pipes.

The power station imports coal from Indonesia. It also uses coal from the Mahanadi coalfields in Orissa state in the east of India. Engineers built a coal jetty at Mundra Port - 5km from the project site - to transport coal to the plant.

As part of the work on the plant, the project team built a 986km-long transmission line to carry power from the plant to Mohinergarh in Haryana. The line has a capacity of 2,500MW.

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Arguably the most energy-efficient, coal-based thermal power plant in the country.

Tata Power

Fascinating facts

Although India intends to reduce the amount of power it generates from renewable sources, its short-term need for energy means it still relies on fossil fuels for electricity production.

More than 66% of the country’s electricity generation capacity comes from thermal power plants. About 85% of these are coal-fired stations.

Hydro power generates about 19% of the country’s electricity. The rest comes from nuclear power and wind and other renewable energy sources.

People who made it happen

  • Plant built and run by Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), a subsidiary of Tata Power.

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