CAIRO: Egypt is in communication with Ethiopia regarding a new dam that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn recently announced, Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy told Youm7 Tuesday.
On March 10, Desalegn said before his country’s parliament that building the new dam will “begin soon” to produce power at a capacity of 2,000 MW, but he did not reveal more details.
Cairo wants to know the location of the dam, as there are several rivers in Ethiopia other than the Blue Nile, which predominantly feeds the Nile River reaching Egypt, Moghazy said.
He added that the communication is “friendly, rather than official,” and that Cairo’s effort is exerted towards the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD,) which lies on the Blue Nile.
Egypt has been negotiating with Ethiopia for more than two years over GERD.
Ethiopian Water Minister Motuma Mekasa told the BBC in February it would not stop or slow down building GERD, scheduled for inauguration in 2017.
Meanwhile, French consultancy firms BRL and Artelia are studying the impact of GERD on the two downstream states; Sudan and Egypt. The studies and recommendations to avoid any adverse effects should be submitted before the end of 2016.
Some of the main contentious issues between Addis Ababa and Ethiopia are the years required to fill GERD’s reservoir and its storage capacity.