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An upcoming meeting in Addis Ababa to resolve the period of filling and operation of the Renaissance Dam


Ahmed Abdullah-Addis Ababa

More than a week ago, Egypt is betting on its upcoming meeting with Ethiopia and Sudan on September 15 in Addis Ababa to resolve the period of filling and operation of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam at its request on August 21.

The filling of the reservoir has become an obstacle to the negotiations of the three countries (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia) on the Renaissance Dam, where Ethiopia wants three years, and Egypt wants seven to ten years, and it is in the interest of all to reach a compromise, a period of six or seven years.

On August 28, Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy Selcey Bekele announced that Egypt had asked to fill the reservoir for seven years and that Ethiopia had responded with a letter, without mentioning its content.

Buckley stressed the continuation of work on the dam, announcing that the turbines will start generating power after one year and three months, according to the plan, so that the completion of the dam in 2023.

In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation announced that Egypt had informed Ethiopia and Sudan of its vision of filling and operating during floods and droughts, `` in accordance with the flood situation in a cooperative framework, in order to achieve Ethiopia's objectives, most importantly early generation of energy, without seriously damaging Egyptian water interests. ''

Ethiopian ambitions
The Renaissance Dam is expected to become one of the largest reservoirs on the African continent and will allow the generation of about 5,200 megawatts of power in an initial phase.

In September 2018, Cairo announced that a tripartite meeting with Addis Ababa and Khartoum, held in Ethiopia, had not reached specific conclusions regarding the dam study.

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Since then, the meetings have stalled and some have been postponed at the request of Ethiopia, including the next one, scheduled for last August, before being postponed.

Addis Ababa says the dam's electricity (including 6,000 megawatts internally and 2,000 for sale to neighboring countries) will help eradicate poverty and boost Africa's development renaissance.

The stalled negotiations aim to reach a satisfactory agreement and mutual understanding between all parties on the items and sticking points of dispute over the management of the dam, storage and filling years, and methods of operation and management of the dam lake.

Cairo fears a possible negative impact of the dam on the flow of its annual share of the Nile water (55 billion cubic meters), while Sudan gets 18.5 billion. Ethiopia says it is not aimed at harming Egypt's interests.

The fifth clause on the procedures for filling the dam in the principles agreement between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia provides for the implementation of the recommendations of the International Committee of Experts and respect for the final outputs of the final report of the Tripartite Committee of Experts on the studies recommended during the different stages of the project.

It gives the right of the three countries to use the final outputs to agree on the guidelines and the first filling rules of the Renaissance Dam, which includes all the different scenarios, in parallel with the process of building the dam, and agree on the guidelines and the annual operating rules of the Renaissance Dam, which the owner of the dam may adjust from time to time. .

The agreement affirms the need to notify the two countries downstream of any unforeseen or emergency circumstances that require a reset to the operation of the dam.

In March 2015, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan signed an agreement containing 10 basic principles for the conservation of water rights and interests, cooperation on the basis of mutual understanding and benefit, and no harm to any of the three countries.

Source: aljazeera

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