Gitaru Hydroelectric Power Station

Gitaru Hydroelectric Power Station
Location of Gitaru Hydroelectric Power Station in Kenya
Country Kenya
Location Embu County/Machakos County
Coordinates 00°47′43″S 37°45′09″E / 0.79528°S 37.75250°E / -0.79528; 37.75250Coordinates: 00°47′43″S 37°45′09″E / 0.79528°S 37.75250°E / -0.79528; 37.75250
Purpose Power
Status Operational
Construction began 1975
Opening date 1978 (1978)
Owner(s) Kenya Electricity Generating Company
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Embankment
Impounds Tana River
Height 30 m (98 ft)
Length 580 m (1,900 ft)
Spillway capacity 4,500 m3/s (160,000 cu ft/s)
Total capacity 16,000,000 m3 (13,000 acre·ft)
Normal elevation 924 m (3,031 ft)
Power station
Name Gitaru Hydroelectric Power Station
Coordinates 00°47′43″S 37°45′09″E / 0.79528°S 37.75250°E / -0.79528; 37.75250
Operator(s) Kenya Electricity Generating Company
Commission date 1999
Type Run-of-the-river
Hydraulic head 136 m (446 ft)
Turbines 2 x 72 MW, 1 x 81 MW Francis-type
Installed capacity 225 MW (302,000 hp)

The Gitaru Hydroelectric Power Station, also known as the Gitaru Dam, is a rock and earth-filled embankment dam on the Tana River in Kenya. It straddles the border between Embu and Machakos Counties in the Eastern Province. The primary purpose of the dam is hydroelectric power generation, and it supports a 225 megawatt power station. Construction on the dam began in 1975 and was completed in 1978. The power station was not commissioned until 1979. US$63 million in funding for the project was provided by the World Bank. The station is operated by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company and is part of the Seven Forks Scheme.[1][2]

The 30 m (98 ft) tall dam withholds a 16,000,000 m3 (13,000 acre·ft) reservoir. The relatively small reservoir relies on steady releases from the Masinga and Kamburu Dams upstream. The run-of-the-river power station is located underground near the left abutment. It contains two 72 megawatt and one 81 megawatt Francis turbine-generators. Water released from the station is returned to the Tana at the Kindaruma Reservoir via a 4.7 km (2.9 mi) long tailrace tunnel. The difference in elevation between the reservoir and power station affords a net hydraulic head of 136 m (446 ft).[3]

See also


  1. Gitaru Hydro Power Plant
  2. "Kenya - Gitaru Hydroelectric Project (English)". World Bank. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  3. "Kenya - Appraisal of the Gitaru Hydroelectric Project" (PDF). World Bank. 23 May 1975. pp. Annex 5. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
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