The Government of India has identified Cheyyur in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu, as one of several sites for a 4000 MW ultra mega power plant (UMPP) using imported coal and super-critical technology. Super-critical technology claims to attain far higher thermal-electrical conversion efficiencies than sub-critical plants, thereby maximising the conversion of coal’s embedded thermal energy into electricity. The coal would be imported through a captive jetty-cum-port located between the fishing villages of Panaiyur Periakuppam and Panaiyur Chinnakuppam. The port will occupy a 650 metre long shorefront. A coal stocking yard capable of storing 310,000 tonnes of coal will be constructed on 83 acres of coastal land abutting the two fishing villages. A 6.5 km conveyor belt would carry the coal from the port to the power plant. Various documents provide varying figures — between 415 and 489 hectares — for the land requirements of the power plant and its ash dyke.
The Ministry of Power aims to develop the UMPPs through Build Own Operate (BOO) basis, through the Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), a public sector unit. For the Cheyyur project, PFC has set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with 100% ownership of the project, called Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Limited, based in New Delhi. The SPV is solely meant to acquire the land, perform the EIA, obtain the various clearances and hand over the project to a private party who wins the bid for the project, thus saving the private party the trouble of land acquisition, impact assessment, public consultation and environmental clearances.
Public hearing for the Power Plant and Ash Dyke area was held on July 30, 2010. The Expert Appraisal Committee (Thermal projects) recommended the project for clearance on May 20-21, 2013. As of July 20, 2013, the Ministry of Environment & Forests’ website had no mention of Environmental Clearance having been granted for the project.
Public hearing for the Captive jetty, port and coal stocking yard was held on December 27, 2011. The Expert Appraisal Committee (Infrastructure and CRZ) recommended the project for clearance on August 16-17, 2012. The Ministry of Environment & Forests issued CRZ clearance for the project on November 30, 2012.
For detailed information on the project and the quantum of resources proposed to be used, download the Cheyyur Booklet from the Resources section.