Coal-fired expansion plans
A July 2011 Ministry of Coal summary of proposed coal projects by independent power producers identifies several Welspun proposals as pending applications for coal allocations.
These are the:
- Welspun Mega Industrial & Energy Park, a 5,820 megawatt project at Gurh village, Rewain district in Madhya Pradesh;
- Welspun Amla power station, a 1320 megawatt project at Amla village in Betul district in Madhya Pradesh.
- Welspun Urja Power Plant a 1320 megawatt project at Naila, Janjgir in Chhattisgarh.(see note below)
- Welspun Energy Parbahal Themal Power Plant, a 1980 megawatt plant at Parbahal village in Bokaro district, Jharkhand;
- Welspun Energy Anuppur Thermal Power Plant, a 1980 megawatt power plant at Chhattai village Anuppur district, Madhya Pradesh;
- Welspun Ghazipur project, a 1320MW supercritical project at Katya and Sabash villages in Ghazipur district, Uttar Pradesh;
- Welspun Maxsteel power station, a 330 megawatt plant proposed at Salav village, in Raigad district, Maharashtra.
(Note: The Ministry of Coal lists the Welspun Urja Power Plant as a separate 1320MW project at Naila in Chhattisgarh on one page and then in a separate listing on the same page lists "Welspun Energy Chhattisgarh Limited" as the proponent of a 1960MW project also at Naila in Chhattisgarh. A few pages later the document separately lists a 1960MW proposal from Welspun Energy Madhya Pradesh Limited "(earlier known as Welspun Urja Power Plant)" for "Amla/Betul/Madhya Pradesh". Assuming the Ministry document is compiled chronologically, the confusing listing may best be interpreted, at least pending further research, as the Welspun Urja Power Plant initially being proposed as a 1320MW project, then upgraded to 1960MW at the same location and then dropped and proposed instead at Amla in Madhya Pradesh.)
Other projects which have been attributed to Wespun are:
- Katni power station, a 1,980MW project in Madhya Pradesh;
- Welspun Energy Mirzapur power station, Dadri - Kuhurd villages, Sadar Tehsil, Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh;
- Welspun Andhra Pradesh project, a 1320 supercritical plant at an unspecified location on the coast of Andhra Pradesh.
Welspun appears to exit India coal power business
In October 2015, Adani Group signed an initial agreement to buy the Katni power station and Welspun Energy Mirzapur power station in Uttar Pradesh. However, there were no subsequent reports that the deal had actually been finalized.
In June 2016, Tata Power Company purchased the renewable energy portfolio of Welspun Energy Pvt Ltd for an estimate Rs 10,000 crore (US$1.4 billion). As of December 2016, none of the annual reports of any companies affiliated with Welspun Group make any mention of involvement in coal plants. It appears that in the wake of its apparently unsuccessful attempt to sell its coal power projects in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, and its transition into a builder of renewable power, followed by its sale of its renewable portfolio to Tata, the company has abandoned further plans to develop new coal power in India, including Mirzapur power station.  Both projects were the site of intense protest, including the self-immolation of a woman protesting land acquisition practices at the Katni power station.
November 2012: Woman immolates herself in protest
In November 2012, NDTV reported that twenty farmers in Bujbuja village sit every day on funeral pyres with kerosene and match sticks at arm's reach to protest acquisition of land for the plant. On Diwali, Katni district villager Sunia Bai died one day after she set herself on fire on Diwali day, in protest over land acquisition for the plant. Following the self-immolation, police responded to a protest by residents of Bujbuja and Dakaria villages with a lathicharge, seizing the body. According to villagers, the police had threatened to bulldoze the home of Sunia Bai and her husband Chhaka Gadari. In addition, police arrested 12 villagers as well as former Janata Dal (United) MLA Saroj Bachchan Nayak. Protesters demanded that land acquired for the project be returned to farmers. Farmers also built funeral pyres on their land and warmed that they would immolate themselves if forcibly evicted. A second villager threatened with eviction, Pyare Lai Choudhary, was admitted to the hospital after drinking poison in a suicide attempt.
Buying into Leighton'
In a January 2011 media release Welspun stated that it "has also acquired a stake in Leighton India, part of the Australian conglomerate Leighton Holdings". On its website Leighton states that "Leighton Contractors (India) Pvt. Ltd. entered into a strategic partnership with Welspun Infra Projects Pvt Ltd (WIPPL) a part of the US $3 billion Welspun Group, leading to the formation of Leighton Welspun Pvt Ltd."
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Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Welspun Energy, "Our Parent Company – The Welspun Group", Welspun Energy website, accessed February 2012.
- Ministry of Coal, "Pending application of SEBs up to 31st July, 2011", Ministry of Coal, August 2011.
- "Bidder Qualification Criteria for BTG Package: 3x660 MW Katni Thermal Power Project - Welspun Energy Madhya Pradesh Ltd.," Bidder Qualification Criteria for BTG Package, Doc. No.: WEL/BQC/KTPP/MP/BTG/10-11/01-Rev 2.
- "Updated: July 2011 1320 MW", Infraline, accessed March 2012.
- "Adani Power in talks with Welspun Group to buy power plants," Economic Times, October 7, 2015
- Sarita Singh and Arijit Barman, "Tata Power acquires Welspun Energy's renewable assets for Rs 10,000 crore," Economic Times, June 13, 2016
- Siddharth Ranjan Das, "Madhya Pradesh land row: Farmers sit on pyres, threaten mass suicide," NDTV, November 19, 2012
- "Katni: Protests intensify against proposed power project, police resort to lathicharge," NDTV.com, November 16, 2012
- "MP: woman commits suicide to protest against land acquisition for power plant," IBNLive, November 16, 2012
- "Madhya Pradesh land row: Farmers sit on pyres, threaten mass suicide" Siddharth Ranjan Das, NDTV, November 19, 2012.
- "Welspun Energy Signs MoU With UP Govt. for 1320 MW Power Project", Media Release, January 6, 2011.
- Leighton Welspun, "History", Leighton Welspun website, accessed February 2012.