The 1,600MW Uppur coal-fired power plant is under construction in Tamil Nadu, India. Image courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority.
BHEL is the main contractor for the Uppur power plant. Image courtesy of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

Uppur thermal power plant is a new 1,600MW super-critical coal-fired thermal power project being built in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India, by Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO).

The power plant is being developed on a 912-acre (369ha) site, in two phases of 800MW each. The estimated investment on the project is Rs127.78bn ($1.96bn).

Construction of the Uppur power project began in 2016 and is expected to be completed by 2019.

Uppur thermal power plant development details

The Government of Tamil Nadu officially approved the Uppur thermal power project in October 2011. Environmental study for the plant was conducted in the third quarter of 2012.

The land for the power plant was sanctioned by the state government in January 2014.

TANGEDCO received the environmental clearance and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for the project from the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), India, in May 2016.

Uppur coal-fired power plant make-up

The Uppur thermal power project will include two supercritical units of 800MW each. Two single-reheat steam turbines will be installed at the generator terminals of the plant. The steam temperature of the turbine will be 565oC at a steam pressure of 255kg/cm².

The steam generator installed in the plant will produce 360t of superheated steam an hour at a temperature of 540oC. The generator will be supplied with feed water at a temperature of 252oC at the economiser inlet.

The steam boiler will have a steam flow of 2,710t an hour with the outlet pressure and temperature of 259.5kg/cm² and 569oC respectively. The reheat steam flow of the boiler will be 1,954t an hour with an outlet temperature of 593oC at a pressure of 58kg/cm².

The plant will also include feed cycle equipment including three condensate pumps, three boiler feed pumps, high and low pressurised heaters, one gland steam condenser, one drain cooler and one deaerator.

Two natural draft cooling towers with closed cycle cooling system will be installed in the plant and a 275m-tall flue gas stack will be constructed.

The Uppur thermal power plant will also be complemented by a desalination plant with a capacity of 11 million litres a day, a turbine lube oil purification system, condensate polishing system, ammonia dozing system, and hydrazine system.

Coal and water supply for Uppur power plant

The imported coal requirement for the plant will be 4.64 million tons per annum (Mtpa) at 85% plant load factor (PLF). The coal will be imported from either Indonesia or other countries according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between TANGEDCO and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) in May 2015. The blended coal requirement will be 5.02Mtpa.

The coal will be imported to Tuticorin port, which is located 140km away from the plant site. It will then be transported to Ramanathapuram by Southern Railways.

A 25.8km-long low-speed track section will be constructed for transporting the imported coal from Ramanathapuram to the plant site.

The total water requirement of the plant will be 15,376m³ an hour, which will be sourced from Palk bay.

TANGEDCO and V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust signed a MoU for increasing the capacity of the two existing coal jetties at the port from 6.25Mtpa to 24Mtpa to accommodate coal handling facilities for the Uppur power plant.

Power transmission

The power generated from Uppur power plant will be transmitted via a 400kV switchyard station constructed on an area of 60 acres.

The station will be connected to Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation’s (TANTRANSCO) Karaikudi station (400kVA) and Chekkanurani station (400kVA) located approximately 40km north-west and 90km west respectively from the power plant.


Power Finance Corporation (PFC) provided a loan of $760m for financing the construction and development of the Uppur thermal power plant in 2017.

IDFC Infrastructure Fund provided an equity financing of $513m for the project, in March 2018.

Contractors involved with Uppur thermal power plant

TANGEDCO awarded the $777m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) in March 2016.

BHEL awarded a $40m subcontract to General Electric Power India, a subsidiary of General Electric (GE), for the supply of supercritical steam generator units for the power plant in 2016.

BHEL also placed a $50m subcontract with Reliance Infrastructure for the balance-of-plant (BoP) packages for the power plant in 2018.

Institute of Remote Sensing, Chennai, completed the coastal regulation studies for the power plant.

Water and Power Consultancy Services, Government of India, completed the Marine Environmental Impact Assessment (MEIA) study.

Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, performed mathematical modelling for intake and outfall of cooling water for the power project.

Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) completed the feasibility study for the transportation of the coal to the project site in March 2014.

A detailed project report for the Uppur power plant was prepared by Development Consultants, Chennai.

Bhagavathi Ana Labs acted as the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) consultants for the power plant. It completed the EIA and environmental management plan for the project in 2014.