Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam (Reuters)
An Egyptian technical delegation will be holding talks with its counterparts from Sudan and Ethiopia in Addis Ababa over the latter's controversial Grand Renaissance Dam on Wednesday.
The talks come after the three countries announced last Tuesday –following a week of discussions between top officials – that they came to an agreement, permitting field visits to the dam area by Egyptian and Sudanese experts.
Egypt's Irrigation Minster Hossam Moghazi told Al Ahram newspaper on Wednesday that the technical delegation includes five experts who will offer their findings on the possibility of increasing openings in the dam and modifying its designs.
Ahmed Abo-Zeid, Egypt's foreign ministry spokesperson, announced on Tuesday that contracts with the two French firms carrying out studies on the impact of Ethiopia's under construction Grand Renaissance Dam on downstream countries' water shares will be signed in early February in Khartoum.
The two firms are Artelia and BRL.
The Grand Renaissance Dam, set to be completed in 2017, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.
Egypt fears that the establishment of the dam might affect its 55 cubic metre share of Nile water.
However, Ethiopia says that the dam will not cause harm to any Nile Basin country, arguing that it is mainly aimed at generating electricity in a country where only 10 percent of the population have consistent electricity services.