Egyptian irrigation minister in Ethiopia to visit controversial Renaissance Dam

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Xinhua, October 16, 2017
View of the grand Renaissance dam
Egyptian Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati flew to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for a visit to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and a tripartite ministerial meeting on technical studies related to the dam, official Ahram Online website reported Monday.

According to the website, Abdel-Ati will take part in the meeting with a view to following up on technical studies related to the possible impact of the dam on downstream countries.

The minister will also join a trip to the GERD site, organized by the Ethiopian government, where he will observe construction work and explore technical details related to the work of the tripartite technical committee with Ethiopia and Sudan.

The Addis Ababa meeting has been much-anticipated, especially after Egypt voiced concerns in September about the inactivity of the tripartite technical committee assigned to study the effects of the dam due to a delay in meetings.

The last meeting by technical experts was held in Sudan in mid-September, where experts discussed a preliminary report about the technical methodology of the studies planned by French firms BRL and Artelia.

BRL said last year that the studies were scheduled to start in late 2016 and should take 11 months.

The 6,000-megawatt dam, which is slated for completion this year, is situated close to Ethiopia’s border with Sudan. Ethiopia hopes it will be able to export electricity generated by the dam.

However, Egypt 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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