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Massive blackout in Nairobi after breakdown at power station

Several estates in Nairobi were on Tuesday morning affected by a power outage that was caused by a breakdown at the Gitaru Hydro Station.

Kenya Power said the Gitaru hydro station, with a capacity of 225 megawatts (MW), suffered a technical problem that shut down electricity generation.

“At 11.30am, a loss of generation at [the] Gitaru hydro station resulted into a major power outage that affected other sources of electricity,” Kenya Power said in a statement.

“Efforts to restore normal supply are ongoing.”

The station was also the source of a blackout in 2012 when a transformer at one of its turbines blew up.

Gitaru, the largest hydropower station in East Africa and located on the border between Embu and Machakos counties, accounts for 9.6 per cent of the country’s installed capacity of 2,333 MW.

The station, owned and operated by power producer KenGen, is part of the Seven Forks hydro stations on Tana River.

Some of the affected areas in Nairobi included Ruai, Kamulu, Githurai, Kahawa West, Mwihoko, Komarock, Kayole Market, Thindigua, Ndumbuini, Kabete Vet Lab, Pipeline, Airport Road, Clay City and Kihunguro among other estates.

Power outage complaints started on Monday evening when sections of Thika Road experienced blackout for a few hours.