The 4,620MW Mundra power plant is a coal-based thermal power station located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India. Credit: Ariane Wilkinson.

The Mundra power plant is a 4,620MW coal-based thermal power station in the Kutch district of Gujarat in India. It is located near Mundra Port, which is owned by Mundra Power Special Economic Zone.

Operated by Adani Power Mundra (APMuL), the power plant is the first supercritical technology-based thermal project in the world to get registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project, under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The plant was developed in four phases and has four sub-critical technology-based 330MW units and five supercritical technology-based 660MW units. The construction began in 2008 and the project was fully commissioned in 2013.

Mundra power plant is the biggest thermal power plant in India, and one of the biggest in the world. The project was undertaken as part of the company’s strategic plan to achieve a generation capacity of 20,000MW by 2020.

Development of Mundra power plant

Phase I of the Mundra power plant included the construction of two 330MW units. Unit 1 was commissioned in October 2009, eight months ahead of schedule, and Unit II was commissioned in March 2010.

"The project was undertaken as part of the company’s strategic plan to achieve a generation capacity of 20,000MW by 2020."

Phase II included two 330MW units – Unit 3 and Unit 4, which were commissioned in 2010. Phases III and IV made up of two and three units of 660MW each, numbered as units 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Units 5 and 6 were commissioned in December 2010 and June 2011 respectively. Unit 5 has the world’s first supercritical technology certified by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for carbon credits.

All 660MW units have supercritical technology, which reduces carbon emissions by up to 20% more than the conventional thermal power units. The units have more than 40% efficiency as they operate at high temperatures and pressures.

Mundra power plant details

The Mundra power plant uses coal imported from a mine in Bunyu Island, Indonesia, under a 15-year fuel supply agreement signed with Adani Enterprises. Phases I and II are supplied with 4.8 mtpa of coal and Phase III with 4.24 mtpa.

Phase IV imports 6.4 mtpa of F-grade coal from Mahanadi Coalfields in Orissa, India. A coal jetty was set up 5km from the project site to transport coal from Mundra Port to the plant.

The seawater from the Gulf of Kutch is the source of water for the closed-cycle induced draft circulating cooling water system of the plant. The seawater for cooling purposes is transported using large-diameter glass-reinforced pipes. The Mundra plant was the first project in India to use such pipes.

The Ash bagging unit with the operational capacity of 18 tph ensures complete utilisation of fly ash. The unit has three ash bagging machines with a total capacity of 54 tph.

Mundra power plant construction

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for Phase I was awarded to Sichuan Machinery and Equipment Import and Export. Kowa Company won the EPC contract for Phase II.

The boilers for both phases were supplied by Babcock & Wilcox, and the generators were provided by Beijing Beizhong.

The electrical piping for both phases was carried out by Universal Erectors for Sichuan Fortune Project Management of China. The work involved receiving the material, shifting, loading and unloading of material, site storage, material handling at the project site, fabrication and erection.

The high-speed material handling system for the two phases at the port was constructed by Neo Structo Construction.

The EPC contract for Phases III and IV was awarded to SEPCO III. Boilers were delivered by Harbin Boiler. Turbine and generators were supplied by Dongfang Machinery.

Distribution / supply

Adani Power evacuates approximately 1,000MW from Phase I to Gujarat Vitran Nigam. There is a similar contract between the two companies for phase II. Additional power of 221MW from Phase II is sold to AEL under a 15-year purchase agreement.

Other purchase agreements include the supply of 1,424MW from Phase IV to Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam and Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam under 25-year PPAs. Siemens installed the required transmission lines in two phases.

Approximately 1,000MW from the Mundra power station is transmitted to Power Grid Corporation of India at Degham, Gujarat, via a 433km-long 400kV transmission line.

In addition, a dedicated 989km-long and 500kV bi-pole, high-voltage, direct current transmission line was constructed to transmit power from Mundra to Mohinergarh in Haryana. The line has the capacity to transmit 2,500MW from Phase IV.