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Posted on Thursday, 09 April 2015 17:11

Ethiopia: International firm to supervise Renaissance Dam construction

Photo©ReutersEthiopian, Egyptian and Sudanese authorities are meeting to select an international consultant firm to technically supervise the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Water ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are in talks, since Wednesday, to choose from four unnamed international consultancy firms.

I confirm the construction of the Renaissance Dam will not cause any damage to our three states

The chosen firm will be tasked with implementing hydraulic and environmental studies on the dam, which will be Africa's largest when completed in 2017.

Ethiopia began diverting water from the Blue Nile in May 2013 to build the dam that will provide 6,000 MW when complete. The project is estimated to cost the country more than $4 billion.

The studies, which will be conducted by the consultant, are expected to determine the time during which the dam can be filled without affecting water flow to Sudan and Egypt.

Initially the countries had planned to announce the winning firm in March, but Egypt and Ethiopia had settled for different firms.

As per agreement, the consulting firm is expected to complete its work between five months to a year, an Ethiopian official said on Wednesday.

The mega project has been a source of contention for Egypt, which fears that filling its 74 billion cubic metre reservoir would decrease its water supply.

The recently signed Declaration of Principles agreement signed by Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on fair utilisation of Nile waters is of paramount importance in resolving disagreements.

The three riparian countries have agreed on a preliminary deal on GERD that Cairo feared would reduce its share of water from the Nile River, which Ethiopia has repeatedly dismissed.

Last month, leaders of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed the agreement of principles on Ethiopia's Grand Renaissance Dam project.

"I confirm the construction of the Renaissance Dam will not cause any damage to our three states and especially to the Egyptian people," Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said after signing the deal in Sudan.



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