Ahram Online, Thursday 9 Apr 2015
A French consultancy firm is likely to be selected to carry out new water and environmental studies on Ethiopia’s controversial Grand Renaissance Dam, a source from Egypt’s water and irrigations ministry has said.
Ministers of irrigation from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt are currently meeting in Addis Ababa to look at proposals put forward by four consultancies to assess the impact of the dam being built on the largest tributary of the Nile.
An irrigation ministry source said Thursday that the French Artelia group is close to snatching the deal as officials now weigh up a choice between it and a Dutch company, without ruling out the possibility of signing both firms. The winning firm is expected to be announced on Thursday.
Leaders from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed last month a cooperation pact, or a “declaration of principles,” on sharing the water from the Nile which runs through the three countries.
The mega project has been a source of contention for Egypt which fears that filling its 74 billion cubic metre reservoir would drastically diminish its water supply.
But Addis Ababa has repeatedly affirmed the 6,000 MW dam, which will be Africa’s biggest hydro station, will not harm downstream countries Egypt and Sudan.