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KenGen intends to increase volume of water at Masinga Dam

Kengen is set to increase Masinga Dam water carrying capacity by raising the Dam wall hence increasing capacity by 22 per cent.

The proposed project which is at feasibility study stage will increase the Dam carrying capacity which is currently at 1.5 billion cubic meters.

During a media tour organized by the Company, Masinga Power Station Chief Engineer, Johnson Waweru Ndege, said increasing water carrying capacity of the Dam will help the company to have full capacity power production for a longer period, hence increasing the company’s revenue.

Ndege said currently when there are erratic rains, the water level is below normal and hence full capacity production of power is short-lived.

He added that when the water levels are low and the demand of power is not high, they are advised by Kenya Power to halt power production at night.

The Engineer noted that Masinga Dam which is at 1,056.6 metres above sea level will have its 2.2km wall raised by 1.5 metres increasing carrying capacity by 22 per cent.

He said the raised wall will hold water flowing into the Dam, which during heavy rainfall seasons lead to spill-over, hence the water will be for power production for a long period.

Ndege further noted that Masinga Dam produces 40 megawatts daily from its two units, each unit producing 20 megawatts.

He, however, noted the current March- May rainy season, the Company expected water spill-over, but due to erratic rains, especially in the month of May the Dam is below normal capacity, adding that the water level is currently at 1,054.6 metres.

Ndege observed that once the water is released from Masinga Dam it flows to Kamburu Dam which produces 94 megawatts before flowing into Gitaru Dam, the largest power producing Dam in Kenya, with an installed capacity of 225 megawatts.

From Gitaru water snakes all the way to Kindaruma Dam whose installed capacity is 72 megawatts before flowing to Kiambere Dam which produces 168megawatts where it is redirected to the river to flow to Indian Ocean.

However, plans are underway to construct more dams downstream to tap water from River Thura-Ena, River Mutonga and River Kathita whose water causes flooding in the Tana River County.

On consumption of power, the Engineer said the demand is going at a high rate and the Company is exploring other avenues of power generation such as increasing power plants and establishing solar plants.

By Kimani Tirus

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