Ethiopia dam studies firm to be announced soon: Egypt minister

Ahram Online , Thursday 5 Mar 2015

Egypt's irrigation minister says the selected firm will be announced following the investment summit

Ethiopia's Great Renaissance Dam is constructed in Guba Woreda, some 40 km (25 miles) from Ethiopia's border with Sudan, June 28, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

An international firm is set to be announced for conducting studies on Ethiopia’s controversial Grand Renaissance Dam following Egypt’s upcoming investment summit.

Egyptian Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazi, who is in currently in Khartoum for meetings with Sudan and Ethiopia over the dam, said the selected firm will be revealed in Addis Ababa after Egypt’s summit expected on 13-15 March.

An Egyptian delegation headed to Khartoum on Monday to meet with Sudanese and Ethiopian representatives to choose from four international firms to conduct technical studies on the Ethiopian dam, feared to affect Egypt’s water supply.

The three states should have chosen a firm in mid-December; however, the step was postponed several times and some of the firms withdrew.

Egypt fears Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam, of which 40 percent is built, will adversely affect its share of the Nile water. Ethiopia is building the dam on the Blue Nile, the river's most significant tributary, supplying most of its water.

Egypt has pointed out previously some technical concerns over the dam, including its storage capacity, currently set at 74 billion cubic metres.

Egypt will likely need an additional 21 billion cubic metres of water per year by 2050, on top of its current 55 billion cubic metre quota, to meet the water needs of a projected population of 150 million, according to Egypt's National Planning Institute.

The 6,000 megawatt dam, set to be Africa's largest, is expected to be fully completed by 2017.

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