The High Dam in Aswan, Egypt - CC via Wikimedia Commons/Mohamed Moussa
CAIRO - 15 January 2019: Egypt celebrates the 59th and 48th anniversaries of laying the foundation stone, and the inauguration of the High Dam in Aswan on January 15, 1960 and 1971. Here is its story.
The idea was put forward by the Egyptian-Greek agricultural engineer Adrian Daninos to the Revolution Leadership Council proposing to construct a dam in Aswan to suppress flood water, and generate hydropower.
After two years of studies, a design offered by a German engineering company was selected in 1954. However, challenges emerged. The top obstacle was funding as the World Bank, the United States, and the United Kingdom withdrew their offers.
In 1958, the Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) agreed to lend Egypt 400 million rubles and 500 million rubles to accomplish the first and second phases of the dam respectively.
In 1964, the Nile River was diverted, and filling of the reservoir started marking the end of the first stage. In 1967, the hydroelectric power plant and turbines were installed and operated. The project was completed in 1970.
The capacities of the dam and the reservoir are respectively 183 cubic meters, and 179 cubic meters.
The High Dam anniversary also coincides with the birthday of late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.