The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan Reinvestigate Nile Hydropower Project Impact

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan Reinvestigate Nile Hydropower Project Impact

Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt agreed to examine the regional impact of a $4.2 billion dam being built on a Nile river tributary in Ethiopia after experts said earlier studies were inconclusive.

A meeting of water ministers and delegates in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, on Nov. 4 will discuss conducting a new study of the hydropower project’s downstream effect and more detailed appraisals of its environmental and social impact, said Fekahmed Negash, head of the Ethiopian Water Ministry’s Boundary and Transboundary Rivers Affairs Directorate.

The 6,000-megawatt Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, set to be Africa’s largest when completed in 2017, has raised concern in Cairo that it will reduce the flow of the Nile, which provides almost all of Egypt’s water.

In a June report, a group of international experts said Ethiopia’s analysis of the dam’s impact was “very basic, and not yet at a level of detail, sophistication and reliability that would befit a development of this magnitude, importance and with such regional impact.”

Next month’s meeting “will be on the way forward on the implementation of the recommendations of the International Panel of Experts,” Fekahmed said Oct. 18 by phone from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

As suggested by the panel, which included two specialists from each country and four international experts, the assessment will weigh the impact of other Ethiopian dams planned on the Blue Nile, which originates in Ethiopia and is the largest tributary of the Nile, Fekahmed said.

Dam Reservoir

Ethiopia is the source of 86 percent of the water that flows into the Nile, the world’s longest river that runs 4,160 miles (6,700 kilometers) through 11 countries from Burundi in the south to Egypt, where it empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Ethiopia has said it will take five to six years to fill the 74 billion cubic-meter (2.6 trillion cubic-feet) reservoir created by the dam.

Ethiopia won’t stop construction of the dam, which will produce electricity partly for export, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told reporters in Addis Ababa. The project can benefit the region if all sides show “political commitment” to it, he said Oct. 4.

Sudan backs the dam, which will “bring many benefits and blessings for us,” Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said in June.

Structural Concerns

Concerns raised by the panel about the structure of the dam being built in western Ethiopia, 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the Sudanese border, have been addressed by contractor Salini Costruttori SpA, according to Fekahmed. The Rome-based company is able to adjust its design during construction as it has a contract to manage the entire project, he said.

The panel’s call to assess the stability of the rocks on which the foundations of the main dam and an auxiliary dam will rest was a “reminder” to Salini to “take care of this in the design,” Gideon Asfaw, an Ethiopian civil engineer who sat on the panel, said in an interview.

“Whatever you find there is an engineering solution to it,” he said in Addis Ababa on Oct. 11. “There is no cause for alarm regarding the geological formation or the foundation design.”

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg

Lead image: River Nile via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

The Big Question: What Is the Most Frustrating Part about Working in Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy World Editors

Every industry has its challenges and misunderstandings. Sometimes the obstacles we face in simply trying to do our jobs can be very frustrating.

Norway and Sweden flags

Nordic Renewables Boom Set to Exceed Wind Energy Target

Jesper Starn, Bloomberg

Sweden and Norway will probably exceed a joint target for renewable energy production by the end of the decade, industry consultant Nena AS said.

Renewable energy community

State and Metro Governments, Consumer Actions Drive Dramatic Shift in US Energy Landscape

Ron Pernick, Clean Edge The United States is experiencing a significant shift in its energy landscape. Last year, utility-scale wind and solar power combined for 47 percent of new generation capacity in the U.S. Based on this expansion, 11 states...
Science theme

Scientists Start $150 Billion Program to Cut Clean Energy Costs

Louise Downing, Bloomberg

Scientists and economists including BP Plc’s former chief executive officer, John Browne, are inviting governments to join a $150 billion program that aims to make clean energy cheaper than coal.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Mastering RETScreen® 4 for Clean Energy Project Analysis

Hands-on modeling class using RETScreen 4. Michael Ross designed this co...

CIREC WEEK

Chile is still considered to be one of the world’s hottest m...

Renewables and Mining Summit and Exhibition

African mining leaders are seriously exploring new energy solutions to s...

COMPANY BLOGS

US Energy Grid Review Finds Needed Upgrades Would Allow More Solar,...

Yesterday (April 21) the U.S. Department of Energy released the first Qu...

Clean Energy Patents Rise in 2014, Solar Tops others, Toyota and GM...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies in 2014 were again at an all ...

Environmentally friendly solutions for projects

geoAMPS joins the celebration of the worldwide observance of Earth Day o...

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS