Mahan Aluminium power station

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Mahan Aluminium power station is a 900 megawatt (MW) captive coal-fired power station of Hindalco Industries to supply an aluminium smelter plant in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Location

The undated satellite photo below shows the power station and aluminum smelter in Bargawan village.

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Background

When Hindalco first proposed the new aluminum smelter, it was considering a 325,000 tonne a year smelter plant requiring 549 MW of electricity to run it. Hindalco proposed that power supply for the smelter be met from the construction of a captive 900MW power plant, comprising six 150 MW generating units. One of these units, the company explained, would be built as a "stand by" unit in the complex. (Note: In some documents the power plant is referred to as 750MW and in others 900MW. The EIA makes it clear that the 750MW capacity is to cater for the normal operating load, with an additional 150MW unit for backup during outages or maintenance.)[1]

The 900 MW captive power station had a proposed completion date of 2011.[2] It was commissioned in 2013.[3]

Coal supply

The power station, Hindalco stated, would consume approximately 3.5 million tonnes a year from the Mahan coal block. The company states that the "project has access to the Mahan coal block (off the main basin in the Singrauli coal fields) through a joint venture with Essar Energy called Mahan Coal Ltd. Hindalco’s share in the coal block is about 3.6 million mtpa." The two companies are equal partners in the coal mining project. Hindalco also states that the aluminum smelter was scheduled to be commissioned in October 2011.[4]

In its 2013 annual report, Essar announced that it had received stage 1 forest clearance for the Mahan coal block. The company said that it plans to seek additional coal from Coal India’s e-auction process and to consider the use of imported coal.[5]

In February 2014, Mahan Coal Ltd was granted environmental approval to extract around 100 million tonnes of coal from the Mahan coal block.[6]

Protests

Local villagers in the forest area of the proposed Mahan mine have stated that they will resist the mine. According to Reuters, final forest clearance for MCL came from environment minister Veerappa Moily, who in less than three months approved more than 70 big projects worth over $40 billion, some of which were stalled by his predecessors over environmental concerns. Moily has been accused of acting in haste for industrial interests.[6]

Inhabitants say clearance was given to the project in violation of the Forest Rights Act, a 2008 law that gives affected communities a right over the forests. A village vote in Amelia supporting the MCL mine was rigged with hundreds of forged signatures, they said. MCL said it had no say in the vote. The allegation has forced district authorities to launch an inquiry, and the outcome could scupper the mining project.[6]

Greenpeace says MCL's project will fell hundreds of thousands of trees and affect the livelihoods of 14,000 people who sell products such as mahua seeds and tendu leaves, used to make cheap alcohol and hand-rolled cigarettes (beedi) respectively.[6]

Project Details

Sponsor: Hindalco Industries
Location: Bargawan village, Sidhi district in Madhya Pradesh, India
Coordinates: 24.220902, 82.437197[7][8](exact)
Status: Operating
Capacity: 900 MW (6 x 150 MW, though one 150MW unit is for back-up only)
Type:
In service: 2013
Coal Type:
Coal Source: Mahan coal block (off the main basin in the Singrauli coal fields)
Estimated annual CO2: 5,322,331 tons
Source of financing:

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