Sunday, February 07, 2016

Tripartite Meetings on Ethiopian Dam to Resume in Khartoum on Sunday
February 6, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The tripartite meetings between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia over the Grand Renaissance Dam that Addis Ababa is constructing along the Blue Nile would resume in Khartoum on Sunday.

The four-day meeting would examine the joint technical proposal submitted by the two French consultancy firms that were assigned to probe effects of the dam on Sudan and Egypt.

The head of the Sudanese side Saif al-Din Hamad told reporters Saturday that the meeting would discuss the joint proposal submitted by the French Artelia and BRL groups, saying the former would conduct 70% of the studies while the remaining 30% would be undertaken by the latter.

He pointed that the three countries have received copies of the proposal, saying the meeting aims to arrive at a unified proposal that accommodates views of the three countries.

Hamad added the three delegations would meet with the French groups on 8 and 9 February in the presence of the legal advisor of the tripartite committee, the U.K.-based law firm Corbett, to develop and approve the final legal proposal.

For his part, Egypt’s minister of irrigation Hosam Moghazi said they are currently preparing their report on the technical proposal in order to discuss it with the French consultancy groups.

He said in press statements Saturday that the Khartoum meeting would discuss the financial cost of the technical studies presented by the French groups, noting it would be submitted to the legal advisor who is currently making the final technical and financial draft agreement.

The Egyptian minister added that the three countries would share the funding of the technical studies, saying the contracts with the French groups would be signed in Khartoum.

He noted the technical studies would be completed before the end of this year according to the previous proposal submitted by the French BRL group, saying it would take between 8 to 11 months.

Moghazi stressed that the technical studies will offer answers to all questions about the negative effects of the renaissance dam.

“If there were negative effects, the [technical] studies would offer means to overcome those effects either through the number of the storage years or its timing,” he said.

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, the panel of experts in 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 multi-billion dollar dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20 kilometres 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.


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