Friday, October 28, 2016

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Treaty signed - International Water Power

A tri-partite treaty agreement between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt has been signed in Khartoum for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, sparking the launch of a water resources modeling study and a hydropower simulation assessment.
The 11 month study, which will start in November and cost EUR 4.45 million, will assess the Dam’s trans-boundary environmental and socioeconomic impact, and will also asses how long the dam’s reservoir will take to fill.
Briefing local and foreign correspondents on 21st September, Water, Irrigation and Electricity Minister Motuma Mekassa said that the will run in parallel with the continuing construction of the dam.
Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is more than 70% complete and it has already begun production, which will amount to 800MW of electricity by 2017. Once complete, it will be Africa's largest dam.
Motuma stressed that Ethiopia is constructing the Dam “to harm no one” but to utilize its natural resources for the common benefit of the upper and lower riparian countries. "The findings of the study are expected to be final, legal and binding upon all parties. This study is about “restoring confidence between the three countries," he noted.
In addition to its economic advantage, the GERD will create regional integration among the East African countries and beyond, he said. Ethiopia is cooperating with Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda to further expand power line supplies.
Rwanda will import 400mw from Ethiopia by 2018. Sudan and Djibouti already import Ethiopian electricity generated from previous hydro dams, but there is also a plan to extend more power lines to Sudan, Djibouti and also to Somalia through the Eastern African Power Pool, which is working in 11 countries.
The study is being conducted under the supervision of the Tripartite National Committee (TNC). "We are keen to have everyone satisfied with what we are doing... we are for regional integration and prosperity," said Mohamed Abdel Aati, Egypt's water resources minister.
"We need to make sure that the outcome of these studies will strengthen our cooperation and ensure that the three countries benefit from the dam," concluded the Minister.
In 2015, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt signed a declaration of principles on the dam project that tacitly approved the dam construction but called for technical studies. The French engineering consultancy Artelia and BRL groups have been selected to undertake the dam impact studies. The UK-based law firm Corbett & Co has been selected to manage the legal affairs of the tripartite committee.
The multi-billion-dollar dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20km from the Sudanese border, with a capacity of 74 billion cubic metres, and will generate up to 6000MW of electricity once complete.

Water Conflict: Egypt and the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam | Geopolitical Monitor

drought, cc Flickr Shever, modified, Conflict: Egypt and the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam | Geopolitical Monitor: "Water Conflict: Egypt and the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam October 27, 2016 Geopolitical Monitor   Summary The Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could well end up as a template for water conflict in the 21st century. The dam is currently under construction in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia on the Blue Nile. Once completed, the dam will be the largest of its kind in Africa, producing an expected 6,000 MW of electricity. The Renaissance Dam will bring some obvious economic and development benefits for Ethiopia in the form of electricity production, employment, and drought protection. These, along with the sheer size of the endeavor, have helped the government present the Renaissance Dam as a patriotic cause célèbre for Ethiopians, who have been lining up to buy GERD bonds and demonstrate their love of country. Downriver the mood is more somber. The Renaissance Dam could be a game-changer for Egypt’s water supply, restricting agricultural output, impacting livelihoods, and incurring new costs as the Egyptian government looks to more capital-intensive options to deal with its coming water shortfall. All the while Cairo must face up to a grim geopolitical reality: it is at the mercy of Addis Ababa’s decisions on the Renaissance Dam’s initial fill rate (currently 5-7 years; the longer it is, the more staggered the impact), and any future decision concerning reservoir levels. A lack of technical details is further clouding matters. No one knows just how much of an impact the Renaissance Dam will have, and reports assessing the hydrological and social impacts of the dam are expected to be published after construction is complete."

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Technical studies finally to go ahead on Ethiopia’s controversial Nile dam

Rendering of the GERD by International Rivers (

22 September 2016 | By GCR Staff0 Comments

Officials from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed contracts for technical studies on the controversial Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) this week in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

The three states have now agreed that French consultants BRL and Artelia will carry out the studies on GERD’s impact on the flow of the Nile, while the British construction law firm Corbett & Co will overlook the legal affairs of the process, reports online Egyptian news site, Aswat Masriya.
Egypt’s Irrigation Minister, Mohamed Abdel-Aty, called the ceremony “historic”, Aswat Masriya reported, citing the Middle East News Agency.
In December 2015 the three groups signed the “Khartoum Document” outlining a mechanism for resolving GERD related issues, and set a time frame of eight months to a year to complete the technical studies.
The trio are to split the costs of the studies equally among them, according to the Ethiopian foreign ministry.
The dam, already half built by Italian contractor Salini Impregilo, is the most important project in Ethiopia. The GERD hydroelectric power plant will have an installed capacity of 6,000 MW – more than double Ethiopia’s current generating capacity – and is central to the government’s plan to be a net power exporter to the electricity-starved continent.
Egypt, dependent on the Nile for water, is concerned about how the dam will affect the river’s flow.
The technical study itself has proved controversial.
It stalled last year after the Dutch research institute Deltares withdrew, stating that the conditions imposed by the three countries and BRL on how the study should be done “did not provide sufficient guarantee for Deltares that an independent high-quality study could be carried out”.
Image: Rendering of the GERD by International Rivers, which takes a critical view of the project (
Further Reading:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia sign contracts on GERD Dam impact studies -

Technical teams of Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia on Monday have Initialed the additional studies agreement of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The final signing ceremony will take place in Khartoum on Tuesday.
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A man walks over a bridge by the construction of Ethiopia’s Great Renaissance Dam in Guba Woreda, some 40 km (25 miles) from Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, June 28, 2013 (REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri)
Last year, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles on the dam project that tacitly approves the dam construction but calls for technical studies aimed at safeguarding the water quotas of the three riparian states.
On September 22, 2014, a tripartite committee from the three countries proposed the conduction of two additional studies on the dam project, the first one on the effect of the dam on the water quota of Sudan and Egypt and the second one to examine the dam’s ecological, economic and social impacts of the dam on Sudan and Egypt.
The French engineering consultancy Artelia and BRL groups have been selected to undertake the dam impact studies. The U.K.-based law firm Corbett & Co was selected to manage the legal affairs of the tripartite committee.
In a press statement after the initial signing, the head of the Sudanese technical team, Saif al-Din Hamad said there are no differences between Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt on the additional studies items.
“There are no differences between the consultancy and the legal offices on the final contract of the technical studies and the signing was delayed to enable the ministers of water resources in the three countries to attend the ceremony,” he pointed.
On his part, the head of the Egyptian Technical part, Ahmed Baha, said that all the contracting documents will be signed by the heads of the technical committees of the three countries stressing that the observations of all the counties have been taken into account.
“The final contract with the consultancy offices will take place on Tuesday in the presences of ministers of water resources in the three countries and the representatives of the consultancy offices,” said Baha pointing that the representatives of the French Artelia and BRL groups and U.K.-based law firm Corbett & Co are on their way to Khartoum to attend the final contracts signing ceremony.
Earlier in September, the meeting of the tripartite technical committee was delayed due to differences between Artelia and BRL and the legal consultant Corbett & Co.
The consultancy office will study the environmental and ecological, social and economical effects of the dam.
The multi-billion dollar dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20 kilometers from the Sudanese border, and has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 megawatts.
Egypt is concerned that the dam could reduce its quota of 55.5 billion cubic meters of the Nile water, while the Ethiopian side maintains that the dam is primarily built to produce electricity and will not harm Sudan and Egypt.
Last May, Ethiopia’s Minister of Information and Communication Getachew Reda said the GERD is almost 70% complete.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia have surpassed disputes over GERD:

 "Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia have surpassed disputes over GERD: Sudanese FM 

MENAFN - Daily News Egypt - 28/08/2016

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(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia have surpassed their disputes over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), and have moved to a new cooperative phase in economic, political, and security-related fields, Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour said on Saturday.
In a press statement, Ghandour added that the three countries are currently considering the cooperation plans suggested by Egypt. He added that some events are upcoming to further boost this cooperation, such as an Egyptian-Sudanese summit held in Cairo in October, as well as a tripartite summit in which the three heads of state will announce a new development fund between the three countries.

Former assistant minister of foreign affairs Mona Omar commented on Ghandour's statements, saying that the disagreement between Egypt and Ethiopia is focused on different opinions rather than over the GERD. For the issue of the dam, the two countries will rely on consultation offices.

However, Nader Nour Al-Din, a professor of water resources, previously told Daily News Egypt that these consultation offices will not prove fruitful, as these studies will take 12 months to conduct, by which time Ethiopia will have completed construction of the dam.

The three countries signed in March 2015 a declaration of principles, whereby they agreed on the construction of the dam. Nevertheless technical studies will be conducted to guarantee that each country's water share will not be affected.

Though GERD has strained relations between Egypt and Ethiopia since the beginning of its construction, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abou Zeid previously told Daily News Egypt that it had no effect whatsoever on the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Ethiopian minister of information and communications said in May that about 70% of the dam's construction is complete.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Egypt has Netanyahu mediate in Ethiopian dam crisis

Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in July 2016

Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in July 2016
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia regarding the latter’s dam project which Cairo believes will have a detrimental effect on its economy, Israeli magazine Mida reported yesterday.
His appointment comes following Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri’s visit to Tel Aviv soon after Netanyahu returned from a tour of Africa. Netanyahu will replace former Fatah leader Mohamed Dahlan.
Mida reported that Netanyahu had told Ethiopians to continue in their talks with Egypt and advised them not to harm the north African state’s interests.
Cairo fears the Renaissance Dam will lead to a reduction in its water supply from the Nile, and also reduce the electricity it generates from the Aswan Dam, which will be cut by between 25-40 per cent when the first stage of the project is complete.
Russia had previously suggested Egypt build a nuclear power plant to combat the effects of the dam and ensure it has a sustainable electricity supply.
Construction of the dam is expected to be finalised in 2017.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Egypt may be ‘wasting time’ in GERD talks with Ethiopia: professor - Daily News Egypt

Al-Sisi and Desalegn met in Rwanda for bilateral talks including the controversial GERD issue

Renewed talks between Egypt and Ethiopia on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) may be going in the wrong direction, as one professor at Cairo University believes.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the 27th African Union summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
Presidency spokesperson, Alaa Youssef, said both parties were looking forward to the start of the international consulting desk’s studies regarding the GERD, in order to reach a common ground between Egypt’s concerns over a potential decrease in Nile water share and Ethiopia’s developmental endeavours.
Another tripartite summit is expected to be held soon between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to discuss the procedures of flooding water in the dam for the first time.
The GERD, of which 70% has been completed, has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt since construction began in 2011, with relations reaching their lowest point in 2013.
In early June, Egypt’s foreign ministry said it is finalising the deals with the consulting agencies to assess the impact of the GERD. Last December, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan signed the Khartoum Document, addressing ways to enforce and execute the declaration of principles.
Nader Noor El-Din, water resources professor at Cairo University, warned against the direction in which Egypt is heading in this file.
“Those consulting studies are completely useless,” he told Daily News Egypt. “The studies are expected to take 17 months as an average while the GERD completion is scheduled for October 2017, which is 12 months away from now. The results of these studies are also non-binding.”
Noor El-Din suggested that Egypt should resort to the international court and the United Nations Security Council to prove the potential risks of the construction on Egypt’s access to water. Those risks are inevitable, according to him. “If this potential harm was proven later on, Egypt would not be able to take this legal path,” he said.
More practical actions should be taken, Noor El-Din further noted. “Egypt should start negotiating for its water share, otherwise it will be wasting its rights,” referring to the expedite progress in the GERD construction.