ADANI’S MASSIVE FOSSIL FUEL EXPANSION PLANS 

Despite the need to urgently reduce carbon emissions and accelerate the transition to clean energy to limit global warming, the Adani Group conglomerate is pursuing and supporting massive new fossil fuel projects that endanger key climate goals.

It’s abundantly clear there’s no room for expansion of the fossil fuel industry if we’re to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.1 Similarly, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found that achieving net zero emissions by 2050 means no new or expanded coal mines.2 Adani Group’s pursuit of new climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects contradict not only these findings, but also its own hypocritical attempts to present itself as concerned3 about the climate crisis and a participant in the transition to clean energy.

“…there can be no new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now – from this year.” – Fatih Birol, Executive Director IEA, May 2021.

The lists of new or expanded coal, oil and gas projects presented below, collated mainly from Adani Group’s own reporting, websites and media releases, show the Adani Group is not transitioning away from fossil fuels, but in fact is continuing to bet billions of dollars on the failure of that transition.

Adani Group’s fossil fuel expansion plans include:
  • Doubling its coal-fired power capacity by 12 gigawatts (GW) to 24 GW, giving it more coal power capacity than all of Australia.
  • Owning, developing or operating 132 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of new thermal coal mining capacity, including the massive 60 mtpa Carmichael project in Australia, which would pave the way for more massive coal mines in the untapped Galilee Basin.
  • New coal and LNG terminals at Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone’s ports.
  • An obscure and highly polluting facility that would convert coal, including imported thermal coal, into plastics.
  • 1,500 new retail fuel stations and 1,500 new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, as well as an expansion of natural gas distribution to households.

For details on the specific projects see the sections below.

TAKE ACTION!

Tell the investors and bankers linked to Adani’s coal expansions to pull their support for Adani Group (email action goes to Barclays, State Bank of India, Deutsche Bank, Citi, JP Morgan, DBS, HSBC, BlackRock, Standard Chartered, MUFG, Credit Suisse).

An Adani power plant as seen from the Tragadi fishing community settlement in India. Credit: Stop Adani

Coal power

“Phasing out coal from the electricity sector is the single most important step to get in line with the 1.5-degree goal.” – António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, March 2021

Adani Group has 12 GW of new coal-burning electricity generation capacity either under construction, planned or proposed, including the fiercely opposed Godda project. These projects represent roughly a doubling of Adani’s existing4 coal generation capacity of 12.45 GW (not including another 1,200 MW power station it is in the process of purchasing5), which according to Adani already makes it India’s largest private thermal power producer6. If all are built, Adani Group would have a bigger coal-burning power generation capacity than all of Australia (24 GW vs 22 GW7).

Adani's Godda coal project. credit: Geoff Law/AdaniWatch

Adani’s Godda coal project. credit: Geoff Law/AdaniWatch

Table: Coal power projects
Project nameNew or expansionProject stageCapacity
Pench Thermal Power ProjectNewPlanned1,320 MW
Adani Godda Power StationNewUnder development1,600 MW
Bhadreswar Thermal Power ProjectNewPlanned3,300 MW
Dahej Thermal Power ProjectNewPlanned2,640 MW
Udupi Power Station ExpansionExpansion of existing plantPlanned1,600 MW
Kawai Thermal Power ProjectExpansion of existing plantPlanned1,600 MW

Table sources:

According to the Global Energy Monitor’s Global Coal Plant Tracker (GCPT), the lifetime emissions from Adani Group’s coal power expansions would be 1.8 billion tonnes CO2.8 This is more than the total 2019 emissions of Japan and Indonesia combined.9

According to Bloomberg’s latest figures, new solar power in India is now cheaper than both new and, on average, existing coal-burning electricity10. Onshore wind energy is also cheaper than new coal plants in India11.

Coal transportation and coal washing

Adani Group companies are also pursuing new projects that would provide essential services to the coal sector. The Group has received a letter of intent (LOI) to provide “washery services” for a proposed 10 mtpa coal washery for the Mahanadi Coalfields-owned Hingula mine in Odisha12, India. Additionally, Adani owns a proposed terminal at Kattupalli Port, Tamil Nadu, India, which would handle up to 71 mtpa13 of coal. The proposed coal terminal (which also includes an expansion of oil and gas capacity discussed in the ‘oil and gas’ section below) is highly contested, with locals raising serious concerns regarding its environmental impacts and its approval process.14

Adani Group’s subsidiary Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (Adani Ports) already runs what it claims is the world’s biggest coal import port at Mundra, India, with its 2020 Annual Report setting the goal of a 12% compounded annual growth in coal handling for fiscal year (FY) 2021.15 Coal made up 32% of Adani Ports’ cargo mix by volume in FY21.16 This same subsidiary has set up the Bowen Rail Company (BRC) in Australia17 to transport thermal coal produced by the Carmichael coal project from mine to port (ownership of BRC is being shifted from Adani Ports to Adani Enterprises and as of June 2021 was awaiting regulatory approval18). Adani Group’s Australian coal port at Abbot Point, operated by the aforementioned Adani Ports, has government approvals in place to increase its capacity by 20% from 50 mtpa to 60 mtpa.19

Adani’s Abbot Point Coal Terminal in Australia. This photo was taken after a coal spill into the Caley Valley wetlands. Credit: Australian Conservation Foundation

Thermal coal mining

The Adani Group plans to own, develop or operate proposed and under-development thermal coal mining projects in India and Australia with a combined capacity of 132 mtpa. For context, Australia’s total thermal coal exports in 2020 was 199 mt.20

“No new coal mines or extensions of existing ones are needed in the [Net‐Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario] as coal demand declines precipitously.” – ‘Net Zero by 2050’, International Energy Agency, May 2021

Adani Group owns 69 mtpa of proposed and under development coal mining projects, including the massive Carmichael project in Australia. Carmichael is particularly important as Adani’s work establishing infrastructure for this mine could enable several more new thermal coal mines of a similar size.21

Aside from owning coal mines, Adani Group plans to develop and/or operate another 63 mtpa of new mines owned by several Indian state-owned companies. This Adani Group division produced 17.5 mt in financial year (FY) 202122, and in addition to the new mines, has plans to ramp up production to full capacity at two recently “operationalised”23 mines; the Talabira II & III coal mine (from 1 mtpa to 20 mtpa) and the Gare Palma III mine (from 1.5 mtpa to 5 mtpa).24

Table: Thermal coal mining projects
Project nameNew or expansionProject stageCapacityAdani Group’s role
Carmichael coal mine and portNew mineUnder development60 mtpaOwner
Parsa coal mineNew mineUnder development5 mtpaMine developer/operator
Gidhmuri Pituria coal mineNew mineUnder development5.6 mtpaMine developer/operator
Suliyari coal mineNew mineUnder development5 mtpaMine developer/operator
Kente ExtensionNew mineUnder development9 mtpaMine developer/operator
Gare Pelma INew mineLetter of Intent (LOI) received15 mtpaMine developer/operator
Gare Pelma IINew mine linked to existing power stationUnder development23.6 mtpaMine developer/operator
GondulparaNew coal blockProposed, Coal Block Development and Production Agreement (CBDPA) signed on 11th January, 20214 mtpaOwner
DhirauliNew coal blockProposed, Coal Block Development and Production Agreement (CBDPA) signed on 11th January, 20215 mtpaOwner

Table sources:

Coal to plastics

In April 2021 Adani Group submitted an Environmental Clearance Report to the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for a proposed US$4 billion coal-to-polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant at Mundra, Gujarat. This plant would use a total of 3.1 mtpa of imported coal, including 1 mtpa of thermal coal.25

Coal-to-plastics plants use coal as the raw material for conversion to plastic products, unlike the conventional oil-to-plastics process. They are highly polluting, producing around eleven tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions for every tonne of product produced, more than triple the emissions from oil-to-plastics production.26 Assuming Adani’s coal-to-PVC plant were to have this same emissions intensity (as of June 2021, it’s unclear whether this is the case), this means it would emit up to 22 million tonnes of CO2 each year, roughly equivalent to the amount emitted by Adani’s 4,620 MW Mundra coal-burning power station.27

Oil and gas

Despite there being no room for expansion of the oil and gas industry if we’re to limit global warming to 1.5°C,28 Adani Group continues pursuing a number of new and expanded oil and gas projects.

The Adani Group, in partnership with Total of France, is currently working on a significant expansion of capacity to import and distribute liquefied natural gas (LNG). A 5 mtpa LNG terminal at Mundra (p45) started operations in 2020, of which Adani Group is a minority owner.29 Further port expansions are listed in the table below.

“Also not needed [in the Net‐Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario] are many of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction facilities currently under construction or at the planning stage.” – ‘Net Zero by 2050’, International Energy Agency, May 2021

Adani Gas, a joint venture company between Adani Group and French multinational oil major Total, have signed a non-binding agreement with Italian gas company Snam to create a joint venture to develop a compressed natural gas (CNG) compressors manufacturing facility. In its media release Adani Gas states that this would help with “fostering the use of natural gas”.30

Adani Group is also planning, via Adani Gas, a significant expansion into fossil fuel retailing via petrol stations, CNG stations and residential gas distribution.

Table: Oil and gas projects
Project nameNew or expansionProject stageCapacityAdani Group’s roleSource
Dhamra LNG TerminalNewUnder development10 mtpaAdani Group 12.6%, Total 87.4% ownershipAPSEZ Integrated Annual Report 2019-20, p45


IJGlobal
Kattupalli PortExpansion (new fossil fuel capacity)Planned65 mtpa (LPG, LNG, POL, crude oil)OwnerRevised Master Plan, Development of Kattupalli Port p2-40
Vizhinjam PortExpansionUnder developmentUnknown - oil handlingOwnerAPSEZ Integrated Annual Report 2019-20, p6, 11, 13
CNG compressors manufacturingNewProposed UnknownJoint venture between Adani Gas (Adani Group and Total) and SnamAdani Gas media release
Petrol, diesel, gas retailingExpansionPlanned1500 retail fuel stations
1500 CNG stations
Gas distribution to 6 million households
Adani Gas 62.6%, Total 37.4% ownerAdani Gas media release


Media coverage

Take action! Tell the investors and bankers linked to Adani’s coal expansions to pull their support for Adani Group.


Sources

  1. Market Forces, ‘Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees’ (ND) online: https://www.marketforces.org.au/info/key-issues/keeping-global-warming-to-1-5-c/
  2. International Energy Agency, ‘Net Zero by 2050, A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector’ (May 2021), p21
  3. Gautam Adani, [@gautam_adani], 5 June 2021, Tweet, Twitter
  4. Adani Power, ‘About Us’ (2019) online: https://www.adanipower.com/about-us
  5. Journey Line, ‘Adani Power to acquire 1,200 MW Essar Power’s Mahan project’ (21 June 2021)
  6. Adani Power, ‘About Us’ (2019) online: https://www.adanipower.com/about-us
  7. Australian Energy Regulator, Australian Government, ‘Registered capacity by fuel source – regions’ (ND) online: https://www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/wholesale-statistics/registered-capacity-by-fuel-source-regions
  8. The CO2 emissions are an estimate based on the proposed type of coal and coal plant technology, utilised at the 2019 global average capacity factor of 51% and assuming an average lifetime of 40 years.
  9. Crippa, M., Guizzardi, D., Muntean, M., Schaaf, E., Solazzo, E., Monforti-Ferrario, F., Olivier, J.G.J., Vignati, E., Fossil CO2 emissions of all world countries – 2020 Report, EUR 30358 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2020, ISBN 978-92-76-21515-8, doi:10.2760/143674, JRC121460.
  10. James Fernyhough, Renew Economy, ‘Building new solar now cheaper than keeping existing coal plants open: BNEF’ (24 June 2021).
  11. Veronika Henze, BloombergNEF, ‘Scale-up of Solar and Wind Puts Existing Coal, Gas at Risk’ (28 April, 2020)
  12. Adani Enterprises Ltd, ‘Q3 FY21 Performance Highlights’ (February 2021), p22
  13. Marine Infrastructure Developer Private Limited, ‘Draft Comprehensive EIA/EMP Report Proposed Revised Master Plan of Kattupalli Port’ (December 2020), p 2-40
  14. Nityanand Jayaraman, The Wire, ‘Illegal and Unnecessary – but Adani Port Proposal Makes it to Public Hearing Stage’ (16 January 2021)
  15. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, ‘Integrated Annual Report 2019-20’ (2020), p43
  16. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, ‘Integrated Annual Report 2020-21’ (2021), p74
  17. Josh Robertson, ABC News, ‘Adani launches own rail company to haul coal from Carmichael mine’ (15 September 2020)
  18. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, ‘Integrated Annual Report 2020-21’ (2021), p 129
  19. Sofie Wainwright, ABC News, ‘Adani granted 20 per cent boost to annual coal exports through Abbot Point terminal’ (11 October 2018)
  20. Office of the Chief Economist, Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, ‘Resources and Energy Quarterly’ (March 2021)
  21. Jemima Burt, ABC News, ‘Adani could be ‘ice-breaker’ for six more proposed Galilee Basin mines, resources body says’ (12 June 2019)
  22. Adani Enterprises Ltd, ‘Q4 FY21 Performance Highlights’ (May 2021), p24
  23. Adani Enterprises Ltd, ‘3QFY20 Performance Highlights’ (February 2020),p5
  24. Adani Enterprises Ltd, ‘Annual Report 2020-21’ (2021), p73, p77, p154
  25. Kadam Environmental Consultants, ‘Form 1: Environmental Clearance for proposed Coal to PVC plant project near Village Vandh & Tunda, Taluka Mundra, District Kachchh, Gujarat’ (April 2021), p55
  26. Kelly Cui, Wood Mackenzie, ‘The opportunities and challenges of CTO/MTO development’ (7 November 2017)
  27. Carbon Brief, ‘Global Coal Power’ (26 March 2020) online: https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-worlds-coal-power-plants
  28. Market Forces, ‘Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees’ (ND) online: https://www.marketforces.org.au/info/key-issues/keeping-global-warming-to-1-5-c/
  29. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited, ‘Integrated Annual Report 2019-20’ (2020), p45
  30. Adani Gas, ‘Adani Group announces strategic collaboration with Snam, Europe’s leading gas infrastructure company on energy mix transition’ [Press Release], (6 November 2020)