The IB thermal power station is a 1.74GW coal-fired power plant located in Jharsuguda, Odisha, India.

The power station was developed in two phases, with the phase one involving two 210MW units commissioned in 1994 and 1996, respectively and the phase two involving two 660MW super-critical units commissioned in September 2019.

The phase two expansion also involves the development of two captive coal mines and associated coal transportation railway infrastructure, with a estimated total investment of £1.2bn ($1.6bn).

The IB thermal power station is owned and operated by Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC), a joint venture between the Government of Odisha (59%) and AES Corporation (41%), a company based in the US.

Key contracts for the IB coal power plant expansion were awarded in 2013, while the construction works were started in February 2014.

Location and site details

The IB thermal power station is developed on a 755ha site on the bank of Hirakud reservoir, in the Ib valley area of Banaharpalli village in the Jharsuguda district.

The site is accessible from Belpahar, which is connected with the National Highway (NH)-200 and the Howrah-Mumbai railway line, located approximately 18km away from the plant.

IB thermal power plant make-up

The IB thermal power plant consists of  four generating units, including the first two 210MW conventional coal-fired units and the two recently commissioned 660MW super-critical units.

The boilers, steam turbines, and generators of all the four units were supplied by Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL).

Other infrastructure at the plant includes a once-through cooling tower, an induced draught cooling tower, coal and ash handling facilities, water treatment and demineralisation facilities, and two switchyards onsite.

The plant is also equipped with electrostatic precipitators and flue-gas desulfurisation system to control emissions.

The water required for the operation of the power plant is sourced from the Hirakud reservoir through the existing 5.45km-long intake canal.

Coal supply

Coal for the first two units of the plant is supplied by Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) from the Lakahanpur open cast mines in the Ib valley area, under a 2.4 million tonne per annum (Mtpa) long-term coal linkage. The coal is transported to the plant through a Merry-Go-Round (MGR) rail system.

The units three and four of the plant are planned to receive coal from the Manoharpur and Dip side Manoharpur coal mines in Sundargarh, which were allocated to OPGC by the Ministry of Coal, Government of India.

The expansion project involves a 40km-long dedicated railway siding from the existing MGR rail system at Kasuraloi village to deliver coal to the new units of the plant from the Manoharpur coal block.

Coal for the new units is, however, being sourced from MCL’s coal mines near the plant site, until OPGC’s own captive mines are brought into production.

Power supply and transmission

The electricity generated by the units one and two of the IB thermal power station is evacuated to the grid through two 220kV double-circuit lines connecting the Budipadar substation near Brajrajnagar.

Whereas, the power generated by the units three and four is evacuated through two 400kV double-circuit transmission lines connecting Odisha Power Transmission Corporation’s (OPTCL) substation at Lapang and Power Grid Corporation of India’s (PGCIL) pooling substation at Jharsuguda.

Half of the electricity produced by the two units is supplied to Odisha through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Grid Corporation of Odisha (GRIDCO), while the remaining is meant for open access direct sale to other entities.


The phase one development of the power station incurred an estimated investment of £124m ($190m), which was mostly financed through equity investments from both the shareholders of OPGC.

The £1.1bn ($1.6bn) expansion project is financed through 75% debt and 25% equity. Debt financing of approximately £970m ($1.2bn) was jointly provided by Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC).

Contractors involved

BHEL was awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the boilers, turbines, and generators of units three and four of the IB thermal power station in April 2013.

BGR Energy was awarded the balance of plant (BoP) contract for the new units in July 2013.

Development Consultant Private Limited (DPCL) and Black &Veatch India were engaged as consultants during the early development phase of the expansion project.