Akaltara Ultra Mega Power Project is a proposed extension of 1200 MW at Janjgir-Champa district in Chhattisgarh, India
KSK Energy Ventures states that “the original project was a 1,800 MW power project based on coal supplies from the Morga-II coal block by GMDC. With the availability of additional fuel from the Gare Pelma Sector III coal block in Chhattisgarh, the KSK Mahanadi Power Project has been expanded through the fast track development of an additional 1,800 MW of power generation capacity in the same location. This power project of 3600 MW is being setup in a single location and is scheduled to be commissioned on a unit-wise basis through 2012 and 2013.” The company states that “pursuant to the various underlying agreements, power I to be supplied to GMDC , GIDC, GOC or nominated procuring entities and balance being tied up in line with current market practice.” The company also states that seven million tonnes of coal per annum will be sourced from GMDC’s Morga-II coal block in Chhattisgarh and a further seven million tonnes per annum from GIDC’s Gare Pelma Sector III coal mines.” SEPCO has also been selected to design and construct the power station.
In June 2014, the Central Electricity Authority reported that Unit 1 was commissioned August 13, 2013 and Units 2-6, each 600 MW, were under construction, with completion dates not specified.
Farmers beaten and detained following land protests
The KSK Mahanadi Power Project is in the Janjgir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh, an agricultural area where the state government has signed memoranda of understanding for 34 new thermal power plants totalling 34,000 MW, almost one-fourth of India’s current thermal power capacity. Although the area lacks coal, it became a focal point for developers after neighboring Korba was listed as the fifth most polluted among the Critically Polluted Areas of India in 2009, leading the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to impose a moratorium on further environmental clearances.
With good rail and road connectivity to coal-rich Odisha and Jharkhand, Janjgir-Champa is the least forested district in the state and was traditionally known for silk, brass and gold. It has now been bombarded with more than 100 new offers by various business houses. An estimated 40,000 acres, equal to half the area of capital city Raipur, is being acquired for thermal power plants alone. People who first sold the land to power companies at very low prices felt cheated later. Villages around Akaltara town are a classic example of this. KSK Energy Ventures, which is setting up a 3,600 MW power plant, paid Rs 1.2-2.3 lakh per acre when it first started acquiring land in 2008 through mediators. After the Chhattisgarh Revised Rehabilitation Policy came into force in 2010, the price per acre rose to Rs 6 lakh for barren land, Rs 8 lakh for single-crop unirrigated land and Rs 10 lakh for an acre of double-crop irrigated land. However, when in January 2011, farmers protested about influential families getting more than Rs 30 lakh per acre, villagers were beaten up by the police and detained. Still, the rates were revised to Rs 17 lakh per acre. By that time, there were very few farmers eligible for this increased compensation.
Akaltara was one of nine Ultra Mega Power Projects proposed by the government of India as part of a strategy to add an additional 100,000 megawatts of generation capacity by 2017. The 3,360 megawatt project is in the state of Charttisgarh, and is being proposed by Akaltara Power.
A 2006 Ministry of Power overview of the proposed Ultra-Mega projects states that “the site for the project has been identified in association with the CSEB officials. CEA has written to Govt. of Chattisgarh on 16th January 2006 to confirm the availability of land and water at the identified site to enable the shell company to issue the expression of interest for the project.. Ministry of Power has requested Ministry of coal to allocate captive coal block from Korba coal fields. In its meeting of Energy Coordination Committee held on 8th February, 2006 under the chairmanship of hon’ble Prime Minister, it was decided that the Ministry of Coal would allocate the needed coal blocks by 28th February, 2006. A technical consultant for the preparation of project report has been selected. The consultants will commence work after receipt of confirmation from the state government.”
The Ministry of Power also identified three issues that needed to be resolved with the government of Chattisgarh before the project could proceed. These were:
- “Chattisgarh Government is required to sent the consent for water, land, Power off-take and equity participation”;
- “12% free power demanded by Chhattisgarh is unreasonable. This needs to be withdrawn”; and
- “Allocation of entire 4000 MW to Chhattisgarh is not feasible as these projects are being developed as Inter State projects.”
Sponsor: Akaltara Power
Location: Nariyara village, Akaltara tehsil, Janjgir-Champa district, Chhattisgarh
Coordinates: 21.9602956, 82.4090642
Status: Unit 1: Operating (August 13, 2013), Unit 2: Operating (August 2014),Unit 3: construction, Unit 4: construction, Unit 5: construction,Unit 6: construction
Capacity: Unit 1: 600 MW, Unit 2: 600 MW, Unit 3: 600 MW, Unit 4: 600 MW, Unit 5: 600 MW, Unit 6: 600 MW
Type: Ultra Mega Power Project
Projected in service: Unit 1: Operating 2013, Unit 2: Operating 2014, Unit 3: 2015, Unit 4: 2015, Unit 5: 2016, Unit 6: 2016
Coal Source: Morga-II coal block and Gare Pelma Sector III coal block in Chhattisgarh
Source of financing: $2.9 billion in loans from 27 banks and institutions; a $56 million investment for a 7.7 equity share by IFCI Ltd
- Thermal Power Plants, KSK Energy Ventures website, 2011.
- Monthly Report on Broad Status of Thermal Power Projects in the Country, Central Electricity Authority, June 2014
- Thermal power plants, KSK,
- Power plants insulated from protests, villagers shocked, The Hindu, February 5, 2011
- States make case for second UMPP with advanced land clearances, Economic Times, March 20, 2010.
- Giriye power project: Mango farmers not to give up land, Hindustan Times, November 25, 2007.
- Development of Ultra Mega Power Projects, Government of India, February 2006, page 9.
- Development of Ultra Mega Power Projects, Government of India, February 2006, page 10.
- KSK Energy ties up $3.6 bln for Chhattisgarh power project, Reuters, September 20, 2010