Tarbela Dam is 485 feet high above the riverbed and forms Tarbela Reservoir with a surface area of about 250 km2. The dam was built for water supply but power generating capacity was added in three “extensions” that were completed in 1992. The 700-MW Tarbela 1 (commissioned in 1977) features four units, 1,050-MW Tarbela 2 six units (four commissioned in 1982 and two in 1985) and 1,728-MW Tarbela 3 four units (commissioned in 1992 and 1993). More than 70% of the water released from Tarbela Dam passes over the two spillways and is not used for power generation. Thus, construction began in 2014 on the 1,410-MW Tarbela 4 extension and a 1,410-MW Tarbela 5 extension is planned but construction has not yet begun.

Owner: Water and Power Development Authority
Location: Haripur and Swabi districts, Pakistan
River System: Indus River
Capacity: 3,478 MW
Generating Units: 14
Dam Type: Earth and rockfill, plus two auxiliary dams with spillways
Construction Start Date: 1968
Operational Date: First unit April 1977, 14th unit May 1992
Project Status: Three powerhouses completed, one under construction, one more planned for future

Companies Under Contract:
— Supplied Generators 5-8
 DBS — Supplied Turbines 9 and 10
DBS/SEW — Supplied Turbines 11-14
— Supplied Turbines 5-8
Hitachi — Supplied turbines and generators for Tarbela 1 and Generators 9 and 10 for Tarbela 2
Jeumont Schneider — Supplied transformers for Tarbela 1
Salini Impregilo — Dam construction contractor
Siemens — Supplied Generators 11-14
Sinohydro — Tarbela 4 contractor
Voith Hydro — Tarbela 4 electromechanical equipment supplier


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