Egypt, Ethiopia to hold talks to resolve issues looming 6,000MW hydro project

Egypt and Ethiopia have agreed to hold talks to discuss environmental, social and downstream impacts of 6,000MW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance hydro project on Nile River.

In a joint statement, Foreign Ministers of both the countries have decided to undertake additional consultation initiatives to conclude the impacts of the project on the river.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said the country is keen to support the development of Ethiopia, besides adding that Egypt’s private sector has invested $2bn in the latter’s economy.

“In the meantime, we are sure that Ethiopia is also very determined not to hurt Egypt in anyway. We have only the river Nile, we get about 86 per cent of our water from the Blue Nile,” added Amr.

Earlier in June, a panel of experts presented a report of one-year long study that played down any environmental impacts due to the $4.2bn project.

However, Egypt has expressed strong opposition to the project. Ethiopia Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated: “We are building the dam in a way that addresses the water security concerns of Egypt.”

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance that is scheduled for completion by 2017 is expected to commence power production by 2014.