Ethiopia says construction of Renaissance dam to continue

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Ethiopia has announced that it will continue with the construction of the Renaissance Dam to its completion. The country’s minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Motuma Mekasa has told the media that there is no reason to halt the construction of the dam.

Mekasa denied accusations that Ethiopia was derailing talks on the dam construction. He added that the delay on talks were due to differences that exist among the three countries on the consultancy firms that would take technical and feasibility studies of the project.

The construction of the Renaissance dam in Ethiopia has been hit by delays following a disagreement with Sudan and Ethiopia. In 2014, the panel of experts in the three countries proposed the conduction of more studies on the environmental issues including water quota.

French firms Artelia and BRL groups will undertake the dam impact studies. Corbett & Co has also been selected to manage the legal affairs of the committee.

Ethiopian now says that it is seriously considering the fears by Egypt the water quota. Minister Mekasa says that Egypt concerns will be addressed by the committee appointed by the three countries.

But the minister took issue with Egyptian media over its approach in dealing with the dam project, pointing to its negative effect on the tripartite talks which he described as fruitful.

Ethiopia says it is ready to give Sudan and Egypt the priority in the sale of the electricity produced by the dam at competitive rates for the benefit of the peoples of the region.

The multi-billion dollar dam is being constructed on the Blue Nile, about 20 kilometres from the Sudanese border, and has a capacity of 74 billion cubic meters, and is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 megawatts.

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