Egypt to host tripartite talks on Renaissance dam Oct 20
Ethiopian dam - Photo courtesy of Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation FB page
By SAMAR SAMIR

CAIRO: Egypt will host the next round of the tripartite talks with Ethiopia and Sudan to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Oct. 20 and 21, announced Egyptian Minster of Water Resources and Irrigation, Hossam al-Moughzy, in a press conference Wednesday.

The Cairo meeting will choose a consultant company to revise studies concerning hydroelectric systems and the eco-social and economic effects of the dam on downstream countries, Moughazy added.

Moughazy visited the dam Monday; it was the first visit by an Egyptian official since the start of construction on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in 2011.

“In the first day of the visit, it was agreed on framing the terms of the National Committee,” that was appointed by the three countries, he said, adding each country would provide four experts.

The committee will choose the consultant company and will ratify the reports that should be submitted to the company, and it will hire an international expert in case of any dispute between the parties, the minister added.

Cairo has said the construction of the dam would affect its share of Nile water, whereas Ethiopia has said the dam is critical to their development. Relations between the two nations chilled during the Morsi administration, however, relations began mending after tripartite talks started in August between both countries along with Sudan, where the talks were hosted.

The three countries agreed also that each should nominate three companies within 10 days starting from Sep. 22.

“Ethiopia has submitted to Egypt five volumes concerning the dam and the spillway,” he said.

The Dam construction

The dam consist of the main dam body, two power houses (one with 3750MW and the second with 2250 MW), and Spillway, Moughazy said.

The wall of the spillway will be built and it is expected that the wall building will be completed by 2018, Moughzy added.

“There is no intention to establish agricultural areas on the sides of the dam due to the nature of the stony soil. This type of soil was chosen for building the dam,” Moughazy added.

Ethiopia will also build two new dams on the Akobo River, Moughazy said, adding that Ethiopia updated Egypt on these two dams, noting that they are being constructed to benefit from waste water in swamp areas for power production.

The capacity of the dam is 1 billion cubic meters, to produce 390 MW and the building of the two dams will be completed in 4 four years, he added.

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