(New Europe) — The final contracts on the impact studies of a multi-billion dollar dam being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20km from the Sudanese border, are ready to be signed. This is according to Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Ati.
As reported by The Sudan Tribune, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) last year. This tacitly approved the dam construction. The technical studies are aimed at safeguarding the water quotas of the three riparian states.
The dam impact studies were conducted by the French Artelia and BRL groups. The UK-based law firm Corbett & Co was selected to manage the legal affairs of the tripartite committee.
In press statements on July 9, the Egyptian minister said the three countries have agreed on the proposal submitted by the French consultancy firms, pointing that a date would be fixed soon to sign the final contracts in Addis Ababa.
He added that the implementation of the technical studies would begin after signing the contract with the French consultant according to the declaration of principles.
According to The Sudan Tribune, the dam has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters and is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 megawatts.
However, Egypt is concerned that the dam could reduce its quota of 55.5bn 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.