By Haftu Gebrezgabiher
Water, Irrigation and Electricity Minister Motuma Mekassa said the newly signed tripartite agreement on launching the study and construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) will go in parallel.
Briefing local journalists and foreign correspondents yesterday, Motuma said that the agreement signed in Khartoum Tuesday is aimed launching the study of water resources modeling–hydro-power simulation assessment on how long will take to fill the Dam as well as its trans-boundary environmental and socioeconomic impact assessment.
These two major aspects of the study will go in parallel and will in no way affect the construction of the Dam. It is not about reducing the height and the width of the Dam, said the Minister.
He noted that the study requires 4.45 million Euros which would be shared among the tripartite signatories.
Motuma said that Ethiopia is constructing the Dam to harm no one but to utilize its natural resources based on common benefit of the upper and lower riparian countries. “The findings of the study are expected to be final, legal and binding upon all parties in the agreement,” he noted.
In addition to its economic advantage, GERD will create regional integration among the East African countries and beyond, he said. He also said that Ethiopia is dealing with Kenya and Tanzania to stretch the energy line. The same way is also going on with Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia through the Eastern African Power Pool which is working in 11 countries.
The study will go under the supervision of the Tripartite National Committee (TNC), according to the Minister.
The Minister indicated that though it depends on the technical and electro-mechanical activities, the GERD is expected to generate 800 MW by 2017.
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