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Adani’s burgeoning love affair with coal
Jun 11, 2021
The Adani-run PEKB coal mine in the Hasdeo forests. Photo Brian Cassey, www.briancasseyphotographer.com

On 5 June 2021, World Environment Day, Gautam Adani tweeted in favour of clean, green energy, pledging to accelerate its development. On the face of it, this is a positive statement. Dig a little deeper, however, and you find unadulterated greenwash.

The Adani Group is wedded to coal. It is investing in new coal mines, new coal power stations, new markets for coal-fired power, and new infrastructure for transporting coal. It is doing so in Australia, India and Bangladesh. This comes on top of the Group’s set of coal mines and coal power stations that are already operating in Indonesia and India. Adani is also participating in the Indian Government’s auction of coal blocks, a process aimed at encouraging the exploitation and burning of India’s extensive untapped reserves of coal.

The Group operates coal power station whose capacity exceeds 12 GW. Another 7 GW of coal-fired capacity are in the pipeline. Coal mines operated by Adani extract 25 million tonnes of coal each year. An addition of 75-125 million tonnes per annum from new mines (including the infamous Carmichael mine in Queensland) is proposed. The Adani Group is investing in new coal-transport infrastructure across India and in Queensland.

Gautam Adani's tweet on World Environment Day 2021

Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in Queensland is notorious. But this is just one of the Adani Group’s multitude of coal-based enterprises. The list below is not necessarily comprehensive:

 

Existing Adani Coal Mines (about 25 million tonnes per annum)

Parsa East & Kanta Basan Coal Block (India)

Situated in the Hasdeo Aranya forests of Chhattisgarh, this mine commenced production in 2013, is operated by Adani on behalf of a Rajasthan power authority, and has the capacity to extract 15 million tonnes of coal per annum. The mine has destroyed forests that are a physical and spiritual resource for the local Gond people.

The Parsa East & Kanta Basan mine, Hasdeo forests, Chhattisgarh. Image Abir Dasgupta

Gare Pelma-III Coal Block (India)

Located in the midst of a dense cluster of coal mines and coal power stations in Chhattisgarh, the Gare Pelma III mine has a capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum and is operated by Adani on behalf of a state-owed electricity company. It is likely that this mine has contributed to adverse health effects that have been documented by health professionals monitoring the local population.

Lamindo Inter Multikon Coal Mine (Indonesia)

Located on Bunyu (North Kalimantan), a small island at the mouth of one of Borneo’s big rivers, this mine produces about 5 million tonnes of coal per annum. A community advocacy group has argued that the mine violates a regulation aimed at protecting small islands from mining. The overall impacts of mining on the island have been blamed for degradation of water supplies, fishing resources, forests and local food production.

Adani's coal mine on the island of Bunyu, North Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo courtesy JATAM

Existing Adani Coal Power Stations (total capacity 12.5 GW)

Mundra (India)

The enormous Mundra power plant (4620 MW) is part of Adani’s sprawling port complex at Mundra (Gujarat). Operation of the power plant (with its fumes, fly ash and coal dust) has contributed to local health problems, as documented by expert reports quoted in this AdaniWatch story.

Tiroda (India)

Located in the state of Maharashtra, the Tiroda coal power station has a total capacity of 3300 MW.

Kawai (India)

The Kawai coal power station in Rajasthan has a capacity of 1320 MW.

Udupi (India)

The Udupi coal power station in Karnataka has a capacity of 1200 MW.

Raipur (India)

According to Adani's website, Adani operates a 1370MW coal-based plant near Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh.

Raigarh (India)

According to Adani's website, Adani operates a 600MW coal-based plant near Raigarh, part of a cluster of coal mines, coal power plants and other coal infrastructure that has been blamed for the bad health of part of the local populace.

 

Existing Adani Coal Transport Infrastructure

Abbot Point Port (Australia)

The Abbot Point port, rebranded by Adani as the North Queensland Export Terminal, has the capacity to export 50 million tonnes of coal per annum. The terminal is 100% owned by the Adani Group, and while the company’s website studiously avoids use of the word ‘coal’, that is the main product exported. It is the proposed destination for coal from the proposed Carmichael mine via the Carmichael rail project (above). From Abbot Point, Adani’s coal would be exported to its Dhamra port in India (below).

Dhamra Port (India)

Situated in the north-eastern Indian state of Odisha, Adani’s Dhamra port is the intended entry point for coal from the proposed Carmichael mine. From here, the coal would be railed approximately 700 km (past many existing coal mines) to Adani’s proposed coal-fired power station at Godda (see below). The Dhamra port occurs in a tropical setting of estuaries, mangroves, islets, beaches and sandbars that comprise important habitat for the vulnerable Olive Ridley sea-turtle.

Dhamra port (Odisha), north-east coast of India

Mundra Port (India)

According to Adani, Mundra is India’s largest commercial port and the ‘world’s largest import coal terminal’. The coal is imported for Adani’s Mundra power plant (see above) and for the huge coal power station owned by Tata. According to numerous reports, port construction here has destroyed great swathes of the coastal environment of the biodiverse Gulf of Kutch in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Mormugao Port (India)

According to Adani, Mormugao port (in the state of Goa) is a ‘fully mechanised coal-handling facility’ and a ‘strategically located coal terminal on the South-West coast of India’. Local opposition to the expansion of coal-handling facilities and coal-transport railways in the hinterland have led to passionate outbursts of protest by the people of Goa.

Tuna Port (India)

According to Adani, its Tuna port (Gujarat) handles coal.

Vizag Terminal (India)

According to Adani, the Vizag terminal in Andhra Pradesh was developed to handle steam coal and has a coal-storage yard of 25 acres.

Krishnapatnam Port (India)

According to Adani, the Krishnapatnam port (Andrha Pradesh) has been equipped to enable ‘faster discharge of coal cargo’.

 

Proposed New Coal Mines (between 75 and 125 million tonnes per annum in total)

The Carmichael Coal Mine (Australia)

Located in north-central Queensland, the proposed Carmichael coal mine (under development) is currently licensed to export 10 million tonnes of coal per annum, but if the mine proceeds, this could increase to 60 million tonnes per annum (the original proposed amount). It could also pave the way for additional massive coal mines in the Galilee Basin, a giant coal deposit that is currently undeveloped. The business plan for the Carmichael mine is heavily dependent on taxpayer subsidies. However, the coal mine has effectively been subject to a boycott by financial institutions around the world, putting strain on the Adani Group’s continued support for the project. As well as the obvious and substantial climate impacts, the mine would also destroy local habitat and culturally important Country of the indigenous Wangan & Jagalingou people.

Parsa Coal Block (India)

According to Adani, this proposed mine in the Hasdeo Aranya forests of Chhattisgarh would produce 5 million tonnes of coal per annum.

Kente Extension Coal Block (India)

According to Adani, this proposed mine in the Hasdeo Aranya forests of Chhattisgarh would produce 7 million tonnes of coal per annum.

Elephant habitat and coal country collide in the Hasdeo forests, Chhattisgarh, site of proposed new coal mines by Adani. Photo Brian Cassey, www.briancasseyphotographer.com

Gidhmuri Paturia Coal Block (India)

According to Adani, this proposed mine in the state of Chhattisgarh would produce 5.6 million tonnes of coal per annum.

Gare Pelma-I Coal Block (India)

According to Adani, this proposed mine in the state of Chhattisgarh would produce 5.6 million tonnes of coal per annum.

Gare Pelma-II Coal Block (India)

According to Adani, this proposed mine in the state of Chhattisgarh would produce a colossal 23 million tonnes of coal per annum. It would add prodigiously to the environmental and health impacts already documented by health professionals in the Raigarh region of Chhattisgarh.

Talabira II & III Coal Block (India)

According to Adani, this proposed mine located in the state of Odisha would produce an enormous 20 million tonnes of coal per annum. Development of the site has provoked opposition and protests by indigenous farmers.

Gondulpara (India)

According to media reports, the Adani Group won a contract for the Gondulpara coal block in the state of Jharkhand. It is reported that the mine has geological reserves of 176 million tonnes of coal.

 

Proposed New Coal Power Stations

Godda Coal Power Station (India)

Under construction near the town of Godda in the north-eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, the Godda power station would, if completed, be the final destination for coal from Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine (above). Located in its own ‘special economic zone’, the 1600MW plant would export power to Bangladesh under an arrangement which exempts the Adani Group from most of the customs duties and other taxes that would ordinarily apply to such developments. Reports have been published of dirty tricks and coercion used by local authorities to acquire the land from the local indigenous farmers. AdaniWatch visited villages adjacent to the Godda construction site in February 2020.

An Adivasi (indigenous) farmer at a family grave plot - over the fence is land confiscated for Adani's Godda power plant. Photo Geoff Law

Pench (Chhindwara) Coal Power Station (India)

In the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the proposed 1320MW Pench power plant (otherwise known as the Chhindwara power plant) has become mired in controversy and court cases pertaining to its environmental approval and the displacement of local farmers. In 2011 and 2015, protest leaders were viciously assaulted by assailants described as ‘company goons’. Work (other than a boundary wall and some administration buildings) has yet to commence on the tainted proposal.

Villagers (including some injured by pro-Adani assailants) march in protest at Adani's proposed Pench power station near Chhindwara. Photo courtesy KSS

Dahej, Udupi Expansion and Kawai Expansion Coal Power Stations (India)

Dahej (Gujarat state) is planned to be 2640 MW. The Udupi (Karnataka) expansion is planned to add 1600 MW to the existing 1200 MW. And the Kawai (Rajasthan) expansion is planned at 1600 MW. Together, these would comprise a colossal 5840 MW of expansion.

Proposed New Coal Transport Infrastructure

Carmichael Rail (Australia)

Adani is building a 200-km railway to link with existing rail infrastructure in order to transport coal from its Carmichael mine (above) to its port at Abbot Point.

 

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Unravelling Adani’s network of offshore investors: Part 2
Unravelling Adani’s Network of Offshore Investors: Part 1
Tribute to a courageous campaigner against Adani’s Godda coal-power station
Pench Part 4: Adani's proposed Pench coal-power plant will cost consumers dearly
Pench Part 3: Political favours for Adani’s Pench coal-fired plant in central India