The Egyptian, Ethiopian, and Sudanese irrigation ministers met on Wednesday in Khartoum with representatives of two French companies set to conduct studies on the impact of the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam’s (GERD).
The two French companies, Artelia and BRL, will present the conclusion of the three-day discussions with the three countries’ technical committees on the study, which will identify the GERD’s impact on the water shares of Egypt and Sudan.
Egyptian minister of irrigation Hossam El-Moghazy said the meeting on technical, financial, and legal issues will continue reviewing the details of the technical reports, aiming to create a financial framework for the study of the GERD impact.
El-Moghazy told journalists Wednesday, on the sidelines of the meeting, that the final draft of the agreement with the French companies will be reviewed by the British law firm, Corbett, before setting a date to sign the contract with the two French companies. The meetings will continue for two more days.
The three technical committees prepared a memorandum on the feasibility of the studies presented by the French companies on the impact of the Ethiopian dam.
The publication of the feasibility studies has been delayed several times, after they were expected to be published by the end of January. The companies requested additional time to review the technical ramifications of the construction of the GERD on the three countries.
The heads of the three committees reviewed the financial offers presented by the firms during the meeting.
The Egyptian ministry of irrigation announced in January that the three countries received the joint offer from the two companies. The companies are expected to conduct two studies in total, the first on the impact of the GERD on Egypt and Sudan’s water share, and the second on its impact on the electricity generated from the dams in the two countries.
El-Moghazy said Monday the report has been consistent thus far. However he did not mention any details on the studies. The studies are expected to take from eight to 12 months and Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt will be committed to the results and their recommendations.
Last December, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan signed the Khartoum Document, addressing the ways to enforce and execute the declaration of principles singed by the presidents of the three countries last March.
Construction on the GERD is now 60% completed. The dam has strained relations between Ethiopia and Egypt since construction began in 2011, with relations reaching their lowest point in 2013.
“Egypt’s water share is expected to diminish to only 600 from 1,000 cubic metres after building the dam,” Egypt’s former water minister, Nasr Allam, previously told Daily News Egypt, relying on former technical studies to present this estimation.