The tripartite committee looking into Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam is expected to meet by mid-January to choose an international firm to conduct studies on the dam's impact, Egypt's irrigation minister said Friday.
Hossam Moghazi told state news agency MENA that Egypt is committed to completing the study by mid-2015.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia had selected seven international firms in October to prepare technical and financial offers to conduct studies on Ethiopia's $4.2 billion dam project, which Egyptian officials fear could affect the country's water share.
The tripartite committee was expected to have selected the firm by mid-December. However, the deadline to receive offers was extended after two firms withdrew.
After meeting to study the firms' offers, the tripartite committee is expected to meet in Addis Ababa to sign the final contract.
The firm's report — based on a study to be conducted over five months — will include the dam's impact on upstream Nile countries Egypt and Sudan, as well as its environmental, social and economic effects.
An Ethiopian "people's delegation" arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for a three day visit. Delegates met with diplomats, religious figures, university professors and journalists.