Regional ministers fail to reach agreement on Ethiopian dam studies report

Ahram Online , Monday 13 Nov 2017

File photo: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in close snapshot (Photo: Bassem Abo Alabass)

Egypt's Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati said on Sunday that participants in the tripartite ministerial meeting held in Cairo to discuss a preliminary studies report on the regional impact of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have failed to reach a consenus, state-run MENA news agency reported.

The focus of the meeting, which was attended by ministers from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, was the introductory report on planned technical studies of the dam's potential impact on Egypt and Sudan, according to Minister Abdel-Ati.

The studies, which will be carried out by two French firms, Arterlia and BRL, were proposed to begin in late 2016, but reqiure an agreement on methods from the three governments before they can begin.

The minister added that Egypt approved of the initial report on Sunday, though Ethiopia and Sudan demanded major amendments to the proposed studies.

Egypt has previously expressed concern over ongoing delays in the approval of the technical studies given that Ethiopia is continuing the construction the dam.

The 6,000-megawatt Grand Renaissance Dam, which is slated for completion this year, is situated near Ethiopia's border with Sudan.

Ethiopia hopes it will be able to export electricity generated by the dam, which upon completion will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa.

Egypt, however, has expressed concerns that the dam might reduce its share of Nile water.

Ethiopia maintains that the dam will not have any negative impact on Egypt or Sudan.

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