Project full name

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Through Super-Critical Technology- Sasan Power Ltd. 

CDM Project number



The Sasan project is one of nine Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) pursued by the Indian government. UMPPs are coal based power plants that produce around 4000 MW.  The Sasan project is a 3960 MW (6 plants of 660 MW each) coal-fired project activity that is using higher efficiency super-critical technology.  The generated electricity of the project will be evacuated to the western and northern regions of India.

Report summary

Key promises made by project proponents:

  • project activity empowers economically weaker sections of the society, including the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes
  • project participant is committed to improve medical and health care
  • acquired skill-set are proposed to be integrated during the construction and operations phase of the project activity, this would enable people to have steady stream of income thereby addressing the issue of livelihood opportunity and urban migration
  • project activity not only reduces CO2₂ emissions by 2.24 mio tonnes/year, but also other major air pollutants such as suspended particulate matter, SOx and NOx

Situation on the ground:

The Sasan project has had major impacts on the local population. In several reported cases, construction works started without any consultation of the affected population. Houses have been bulldozed and streets and community property destroyed before clearance and acquisition was completed. Without permission of the locals, personal belongings were demolished and affected people forcibly displaced to rehabilitation areas. Being dependent on agriculture and the forest, this has far reaching consequences for their livelihoods. Their standard of living decreased as locals are not able to work on their fields anymore and most of them are not employed in the project activity, in contrast to prior promises of the project owner.
Fly ash generated by the project activity pollutes the water and poisons the harvest which makes it unsafe to consume food and causes an increase of diseases in the affected area. Furthermore, the Sasan project has a further negative impact on the health situation in Singrauli, an area which is already shaped by numerous coal power plants. The total installed capital of all thermal power plants in this area is around 10% of the total installed capacity of India.

Coal power

Project participants

  • India:
  • Sasan Power Ltd. (a subsidiary of Reliance Power Ltd.)

financial institutions involved

  • India:
  • Axis Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Corporation Bank
  • Life Insurance Corporation of India •Power Finance Corporation of India •Punjab National Bank
  • Rural Electrification Corporation •State Bank of India
  • Union Bank of India
  • United Bank
  • Andhra Bank
  • India Infrastructure Finance Company •Industrial Development Bank of India
  • China:
  • Bank of China
  • China Development Bank
  • China ExIm Bank
  • UK:
  • Standard Chartered
  • USA: 
  • Export-Import Bank of the United States

Registration date

21. October 2010

Carbon credits issued to date


Exact location

Sasan village
Singrauli district
Madhya Pradesh

Relevant links at UNFCCC website

host country letter of approval
validation report

Sustainable development benefits

social well-being

sustainable development benefits according to claims made by project developers:

  • project activity empowers economically weaker sections of the society, including the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes
  • realizing importance of health-care and lack of essential medical infrastructure, project participant is undertaking several measures to reduce infant mortality
  • measures include construction of new hospital and associated medical infrastructure
  • project participant has commenced mobile medical set-up and 1.875 women have been treated during the last 12 month
  • project participant is committed to improve medical and health care
  • project participant is constructing new school near project activity
  • for academic year 2009-10 distribution of school text books, notebooks and sports goods has been carried out in local primary and secondary school
  • project participant is committed to promote increased educational levels in project location
  • project participant is undertaking several measures including re-skilling of the local community both in technical and non-technical areas
  • acquired skill-set are proposed to be integrated during the construction and opeartions phase of the project activity, which enables villagers to have steady streams of income thus addressing improving livelihood and reducing urban migration
  • project participant is constructiong township comprising 1.500 dwelling units of modern features, to accommodate 6.000 employees expected to stay for the smooth operation of the project activity
  • a tertiary grade medical facilities, education facilities and modern living facilities will be created to ensure educational and medical requirements of the families and employees
  • 2% of sale proceeding of CERs will be used to develop and improve education, income creation & security and health care in the local community
  • the expected amount from 2% sale will lead to empowering of local community for self-reliant growth, improving social security needs and capacity development
  • in order to ensure transparency, local community development expediture will be governed by an identified committee comprising of members of the project participant, NGOs, elders of the village and local administration

            Sustainable Development Action Plan

  • project participant considers local community development an intergral part of project activity and acknowledges the need for an integrated development oriented action plan that not only ensures improvement in quality of life in short-term, but holistic long-term solutions to education, health care and livelihood issues faced by local community
  • measures would lead to poverty alleviation and social harmony among the local community/ population
  • Education and Training:
  • project activity is committed to undertake measures for improving literacy rates and attaining higher eductaion levels in the local community
  • Educational Allowance Programme (EAP):
  • project proponent committed to offer monthly scholarship to all students enrolled from class 1 to class 10
  • based on demographic data collected, it is estimated that EAP would directly benefit 1.498 students per annum
  • Literacy Awareness & Adult Literacy Campaign Project (LAALCP):
  • project participant will carry out awareness campaigns through audio-visual aids on the benefits of education both for adults and their children
  • community basd approach would be adopted for implementation of this programme
  • scientists, educational activitsts, village elders, employees and other relevant stakeholders would be encouraged to participate highlighting the benefit associated with the education
  • Education Infrastructure Suppot Programme (ISP):
  • existing schools and other associated infrastructure will be replaced by a new all-facility-school comprising of 12 class rooms, 1 staff room, computers, first-aid facilities, rest rooms, a fenced play ground, and provisions for laboratories, library and indoor sports
  • ISP would develop in such a way that not only current requirements are taken into consideration, but provisions for future needs are also ensured
  • the school currently under development will take into consideration the complete educational needs of approximately 1.000 students, which is significantly higher than the strength of enrolled students
  • Know IT:
  • project participant is committed to develop necessary IT infrastructure in the school that will be constructed
  • training courses accross a wide spectrum of areas will be offered free of cost
  • measures for improving literacy/ education levels have already started at the project site
  • almost 2.500 students from villages near the project site were benefitted by Sasan Power’s initiative to distribute free text books, note books, games, etc.
  • Campaign of Sports Awareness (CAS):
  • develop to promote sports infrastructure
  • as an initial measure, project participant has clearly demarcated the sports area from the school area
  • required infrastructure is also being developed
  • project participant has upgraded football and cricket fields and the necessary sports equipment was presented to the school authority
  • Action Plan for Health-Care:
  • keeping the concerns of the local community under consideration and the outmost importance project participant pays to health care, project participant is committed to undertake measures to address health related issues which are detrimental for the development of society and future generations
  • Awareness Camps:
  • project participant proposes to conduct awareness programs for the local community in all the identified areas
  • Essential Medical-care facilities & specialized Medical camps: 
  • project participant is constructing new primary medical health care facility for the local community
  • project participant has commenced mobile medical facilities and specialized medical camps for the local community
  • project participant employed essential medical and paramedical staff for providing necessary medical assistance to the local community
  • about 30 patients are treated daily by these deployed facilities and free medicines and vaccination being provided to the local population
  • Livelihood Creation through capacity building:
  • project participant committed to undertake capacity building amongst local community both in technical and non-technical areas
  • acquired skill-set are proposed to be integrated during the construction and operations phase of the project activity, this would enable people to have steady stream of income thereby addressing the issue of livelihood opportunity and urban migration
  • Community Reinforcement and Assistance Promise Programme (CoRAPP):
  • project participant committed to ensure livelihood of local villagers whose lives are impacted by the vagaries of nature and low cattle productivity
  • the aim would be to convert the identified weakness and threats into strengths and opportunities
  • Community Livelihood Improvement Programme (CLIP):
  • project participant will adopt a local Industrial Training Institute/Institutes (ITI) for implementing training programmes
  • existing facilities and available infrastructure of the ITIs would be evaluated and upgraded, in case needed, to carry-out the training programmes
  • families in need of financial support would be identified and encouraged to commence training immediately
  • measure is expected to benefit approximately 1.520 families

sustainable development benefits according to reports:


  • permanent jobs: 
  • no permanent jobs generated for local villagers
  • non-permanent jobs:
  • employment manly on 3-5 month contract basis
  • few local villagers employed at project activity
  • mainly employment of migrant workers from other states

Health and safety

  • reduction of accidents: 
  • numerous accidents at project site due to missing safety precautions
  • accidents with severe injuries and deadly accidents have been reported
  • cases reported where accident victims have been shifted outside the project site
  • enhancing health services:
  • hospital built in rehabilitation colony with basic health care facilities
  • staff: 1 doctor, 2 nurses
  • doctor not available the whole time, mostly when official visits are scheduled
  • very basic medication free of charge
  • desease prevention:
  • increased number of skin disorders, bronchial deseases, cancer and water infections in the region •main drivers are increased mercury levels in the water and fly ash intensity in the air
  • fly ash influences drinking water, food and air quality and has adverse impact on health
  • reduction crimes:
  • protesters have been arrested and harassed by police
  • locals violently forced to leave their land when not accepting compensation in first place •numerous people reported missing that are opposing project site
  • violent measures used by police to suppress protests


  • project related trainings: 
  • re-skilling programmes provided do not lead to permanent employment of villagers
  • stitching courses of 3 month with no further skill training or employment opportunities
  • enhancing educational services: 
  • tribal people of the area no admission to send children to school build by project proponent
  • school building has very few basic rooms
  • no sport fields, library or computer facilities as claimed in project design document
  • no report of scholar ships for students of class 1-10


  • improvement of working conditions:
  • labour unions not allowed by company
  • harrassment and dismissal of workers that want to engage in labour unions
  • basic safety provisions are missing
  • community upliftment:
  • huge areas of land have been acquired for plant and coal mines
  • large scale displacements of local villagers
  • in many cases, disregard for the procedures of land acquisition by company
  • in some cases community property has been destroyed before clearance and acquisition process was complete
  • rehabilitation colonies constructed 21km away from original site and forest area, which makes it difficult to survive the heat and forces communities to adjust to a new environment
  • rehabilitation colonies constructed without prior consultation with affected communities and with disregard to socio-economic conditions of affected communities
  • facilities provided: one room for living and sleeping for whole family, small kitchen and toilet
  • houses extremely small for rural households where the average number of family members is 6-7
  • living conditions in rehabilitation area do not correspond to living quality before displacement
  • small area of houses does not allow to hold cattle, which is important factor for livelihood creation
  • basic facilities like hand pumps, operational schools, dispensaries and public mode of commuting not available
  • due to missing basic facilities rehabilitation areas not used by local villagers
  • poverty alleviation:
  • compensation only given for land and not for houses
  • compensations given on lowest rates
  • acquisition of agricultural and residential land of villagers with monetary loss for villagers
  • local villagers in great dependency on employment by project activity due to replacement from residential and farming lands
  • •ecreasing income level of local villagers
  • former agriculturists, agricultural labourers and forest dwelling communities no more income due to acquisition of land
  • only very limited number of villagers employed at power plant, leaving the majority of the local population without any source of income
  • majority of local villagers lives under the poverty line

economic well-being

sustainable development benefits according to claims made by project developers:

  • increased electricity will support economic growth of the region and address the electricity deficit situation
  • project activity improves India’s energy security by widening the domestic energy resource base and reducing import dependence
  • quantity of fuel saved as a result of higher efficiency of the project activity could be made available for other applications
  • technical consultants and construction contractors associated with project activity would be economically benefited during the construction and operations phase of the project activity

sustainable development benefits according to reports:


  • access to energy:
  • very limited access to electricity
  • no improvement of energy supply and availability for local villagers
  • electricity generated by power plant fed in to national grid, but not made available for local residents and Singrauli area
  • locals mainly dependent on electricity generators

environmental well-being

sustainable development benefits according to claims made by project developers: 

  • project activity not only reduces CO₂ emissions by 2.24 mio tonnes/year, but also other major air pollutants such as suspended particulate matter, SOx and NOx
  • under the Integrated Environmental Development Plan, project activity incorporates features to preserve natural terrain, removes minimal vegetation and prohibits excessive exvacation & terracing and water run-off
  • green- belt would be developed not only to meet mandatory environmental requirements, but also to introduce silvi-culture practices in area of project activity
  • villagers would be imparted training in soil-working, species selection, planting material, fertilization, protection and post-planting management
  • all major buildings and office complexes of the project participant would be developed as energy efficient buildings to qualify for LEEDS certification and TERI’s GRIHA ratings

sustainable development benefits according to reports:


  • accessibility of water:
  • ground water level decreased due to project activity
  • difficult access to clean drinking water
  • water management:
  • water contamined due to fly ash production of project activity
  • fly ash dumped in water pond near project site
  • ash pond located behind government school
  • only a matter of time till ash pond needs to be extended and government school will be displaced
  • ash pond used by locals to clean clothes as no other source is available
  • increased mercury level in water causes skin deseases and health impacts of local population, mainly affecting children


  • reduction fly ash:
  • fly ash produced by coal power plant
  • fly ash dumped outside the power site without following safety or environmental regulations
  • fly ash causes severe health impacts of local population
  • coal transported in open pipes, which causes dust pollution and accidents through falling coal pieces
  • air contamined to very high level
  • odors pollution:
  • intense smell of air due to high amount of fly ash

technological well-being

sustainable development benefits according to claims made by project developers:

  • project activity, being first-of-its-kind to be implemented with super-critical technology, will assist India in acquiring necessary capacity building
  • technology of project activity will develop/improve India’s knowledge base for implementing, operating and maintaining super-critical technology based plants
  • success of project activity will encourage upcoming plants to adopt superior technology

Local stakeholder engagement

local stakeholder consultation according to information given in the PDD:

  • stakeholders were identified by the project proponent and invited to a local stakeholder consultation meeting that was announced in a local Hindi language daily newspaper
  • local stakeholder consultation was scheduled for 28 April 2008 in a community hall in the Singrauli area
  • separate requests and invitations for participation were also sent out to selected stakeholders including contractors, environmental consultants, officials of the district magistrate and the media
  • local stakeholder consultation  meeting started with a circulation of the proposed agenda that was prepared by the project proponent and the selection of a chairman for the public hearing
  • agenda included the presentation of the project activity, a detailed presentation on the CDM covering the CDM project cycle, GHG emissions, the Kyoto Protocol as well as the project activity and the CDM relevance
  • question and answer session was provided, closing remark given and minutes of the meeting prepared
  • comments received have been incorporated in the PDD
  • summary of the comments demonstrates a positive perception of the stakeholders on the project
  • comments received were submitted by employees, local community villagers, teachers of local schools, media and press, contractors and environmental consultants
  • according to the comments displayed in the PDD, stakeholders show a keen interest in the construction of the Sasan project and also request another such project conducted by Reliance Power due to the promised environmental benefits and opportunities to create several livelihoods

local stakeholder consultation according to reports:

The majority of local people living in the Singrauli area are illiterate. A newspaper announcement without further orally submitted announcements thus limits the outreach to the local population affected by the project activity. The local newspaper chosen to publicize the date and venue of the consultation has a small circulation, preventing that areas directly affected by the project activity do not receive the information about a local stakeholder consultation. Many interviewed locals reported that they have neither been aware about a public hearing nor about the Sasan coal power project itself before the construction has started. At the beginning of construction, locals have merely been informed that their residential and farming land is needed for a new coal power plant and have been asked to sell it to the project owner under the promise of secure employment opportunities as well as high compensation rates.  Additional invitations to the stakeholder consultation were sent out to selected people by the project owner. People selected by the project owner might be those in favour of the project activity or those with less opponent opinions, this might possibly have led to the positive outcome of the public hearing.

Sources and Materials


  • fact finding mission to the Sasan coal power plant, jointly conducted by Bank Information Centre,,, Friends of the Earth US, Pacific Environment, Sierra Club and Carbon Market Watch
  • fact finding report “The U.S. Export-Import Bank’s Dirty Dollars. U.S. tax dollars are supporting human rights, environment, and labor violations at the Sasan Coal-Fired Power Plant and Mine, in India.”
  • Glimpse from Ground: Analysis of selected CDM projects by Gujarat Forum on CDM
  • Banktrack

Organisations working on project

  • Paryavaran Mitra
  • Gujarat Forum on CDM
  • Bank Information Centre
  • Beyond Copenhagen Collective
  • Centre for Science and Environment
  • Friends of the Earth US
  • Sierra Club

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