India-based Reliance Power has commissioned the first 660MW unit of the 3,960MW coal-fired Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant, located in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

The first of the six 660MW units has started producing electricity.

The company has undertaken the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project as an integrated power plant and coal mining project, at an estimated cost of INR230bn ($4.2bn). The plant has been connected to the national grid.

Electricity produced from the plant will be sold to 14 distribution companies across seven Indian states and is expected to benefit 350 million people.

Reliance Power chief executive officer J P Chalasani said the company is implementing the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project ahead of the schedule.

"I am also confident that Sasan power project and coal mine would set new benchmarks in operational efficiency," Chalasani added.

The plant will use coal as its fuel to generate electricity and the company has already announced coal production at its Moher and Moher-Amlohri coal mines. The Chhatrasal coal block has also received forest clearance and is under development.