Ethiopia Begins Second Filling of Mega Blue Nile Hydro Dam – Egypt Sites Threat to Regional Stability

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  • Egypt’s irrigation minister has announced that he received official notice from Ethiopia that it had begun filling the the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
  • This is the second filling of the mega hydro dam, tensions in the region rose when the first filling was carried out around the same time last year. Read more  

Egypt has informed Ethiopia of its categorical rejection of the measure, which it regards as a threat to regional stability, Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Aty said in a statement yesterday.

Diplomatic talks for a legally binding deal between the three nations have repeatedly stalled since construction of the dam began in April 2011. Ethiopia accounts for more than 80% of the Blue Nile water in its territory alone and the downstream countries Egypt and Sudan fear the dam construction will reduce the water flow on the river and cause drought-like situations in their territories.

Ethiopia has maintained its right to the project saying the dam is on its Blue Nile and is crucial to the country’s economic development. It will also provide much needed power to its population. They are adamant that the dam will be filled. Read more 

Related news: Plans for a dam across the nile triggered a war in 1956. Will it happen again?  

The project is being developed by state-owned public utility enterprise Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation. The Grand Renaissance Dam will be the biggest hydropower station in Africa and the dam itself will have a surface area of 1874 km2 when fully completed.

The 6450MW facility comprises a concrete gravity dam on the Blue Nile River with a storage capacity of 70 billion cubic metres (bcm) of water, one outdoor powerhouse on each bank of the river, three spillways, and a saddle dam.

The powerhouse on the right bank will be equipped with ten 375MW Francis turbine generator sets while the left bank powerhouse will have six similar capacity turbine generators. Each turbine will be driven by the water flow through an 8m-diametre, 180m-long penstock. 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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