Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam general manager says no water to reach Egypt, Sudan in time of drought



Tue, 31 May 2022 - 01:33 GMT


Tue, 31 May 2022 - 01:33 GMT

FILE - Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) - Reuters

FILE - Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) - Reuters

CAIRO – 31 May 2022: In a TV interview with Al Arabiyah Monday, General Manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) Kifle Horo confirmed the fears of Egypt and Sudan about the absence of a legally binding agreement that regulates the filling of the reservoir in time of drought and severe drought.


Horo said that, during heavy rains, water would overflow in the direction of the two downstream countries. "As for drought durations, the water flowing into the reservoir will remain in the dam. That is the regular way of filling in such projects," the GERD general manager stated.  


The Ethiopian official added that the second Turbine would be installed in a few weeks, and that the total capacity of the dam would reach 5,150 megawatts when all 13 turbines are put in place. As such, the amount of electricity produced by the dam would be 15,760 gigawatts.


The dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia dates back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building the dam; Egypt voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters].


Constructions in the Grand Renaissance Dam started on April 2, 2011 at a cost of $4.8 billion. It was built by the Italian construction and engineering company Salini Impergilo. The dam is located on the Blue Nile with a planned reservoir capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and was expected to generate up to 6,000 megawatts of power.


However, it is estimated to generate only 3,000 megawatts, as the number of turbines to be installed has been reduced to 13 turbines down from 16.


The first and second fillings were carried out in 2020 and 2021, respectively, making the total 8 billion cubic meters.


However, satellite images showed in April that the amount of water in the reservoir had dropped from eight billion cubic meters to seven billion cubic meters over the past few weeks as 30 million cubic meters had to be released daily to operate the turbine. 


On January 13, Ethiopia declared it would begin removing 17,000 hectares of forests in February, which would take 60 days, to make possible conducting the third filling of the dam.    



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