Ethiopia to start third filling of GERD in August: Manager
The project manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), said on Friday that the dam's third filling will not be delayed and will take place in August and September.
Kiffle Horo, project manager of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), told Saudi Al-Arabiya News Channel on Friday that the dam's third filling will not be delayed and will take place in August and September.
Horo's declaration came during a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and a large number of national and local leaders to mark the formal start of the first phase of generating energy from the GERD.
Horo ruled out postponing the dam's third filling, characterizing it as "an automatic process."
He went on to say that "the dam is formidable and any talk about its dangers is not correct," before adding that "Ethiopia has shared the information on the GERD with Egypt and Sudan."
Horo added that nothing will stop the destruction "for any reason," assuring it would be complete within two years.
Horo went on to say that claims from Egypt and Sudan about the hazards of GERD "do not concern" Ethiopia and that Addis Ababa has not breached the three nations' 2015 Declaration of Principles on the filling process.
According to Ethiopian authorities, the second electricity-generating turbine will be tested "within weeks."
In a speech during the event, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared that the dam was built for the benefit of the Ethiopian people and that Ethiopia has no intention of harming Egypt or Sudan.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry indicated on Tuesday that Cairo is always open to talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) problem, calling it as an existential issue and a question of national security for Egypt and its people.
Shoukry made the remarks to Sky News Arabia while attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
According to the minister, “[Previously exerted] efforts have not yielded a legally binding agreement regarding the GERD’s filing and operation policies, nevertheless, Cairo is working hard to push forward matters in order to reach an agreement that [simultaneously] allows Ethiopia to develop and safeguards Egypt’s rights."
Egypt is always prepared for dialogue and is ready to resume negotiations to settle this issue, Shoukry stressed.
For over a decade, Egypt and Sudan have been negotiating with Ethiopia to obtain a legally binding and comprehensive agreement on the filling and operation of the GERD, which Addis Ababa began construction on the Blue Nile in 2010.
The breakdown of the discussions has been blamed on Ethiopia's "intransigence" and reluctance to sign any legally binding agreement.
The most recent session of African Union (AU)-sponsored discussions between the three nations on the GERD in Kinshasa, DRC, collapsed in April 2021, and all subsequent attempts to restart the talks have failed.
Egypt's senior diplomat also told Sky News Arabia that Cairo is actively monitoring the situation with foreign allies, but there have been no encouraging developments.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stated earlier in 2022 that Cairo is interested in continuing discussions with Sudan and Ethiopia and resolving technical and legal issues in order to reach a fair agreement.
Egypt, which depends primarily on the Nile for water, is concerned that the GERD's unilateral operation and the filling of its 74-billion-cubic-meter reservoir will have a negative impact on its water supply, while Sudan is concerned that the GERD will harm the regulation of flows to its own dams and their safety.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, says that the project, which would create 5,250 megawatts of energy when finished, is critical for producing electricity and economic growth, dismissing Cairo and Khartoum's worries.
Egypt has indicated several times that it has no issues with Ethiopia using the dam to generate energy for its development aspirations.
Cairo, on the other hand, has stated its opposition to any move that jeopardizes its already insufficient share of Nile water or alters its patterns.
Previously, Madbouly stated that Egypt prioritized development in Nile Basin nations, emphasizing that Cairo has offered aid and expertise to help promote development and ensure stability for its neighbors.
Ethiopia, which had finished the dam's first and second fillings unilaterally, declared in February that the first turbine of the GERD had begun generating power. The Ethiopian News Agency said at the time that the first turbine was producing 375 megawatts and that the second turbine will be operational shortly.
Egypt responded by saying that the unilateral decision to begin electricity generation from the GERD is another infringement of the 2015 Declaration of Principles (DoP) agreed by Addis Ababa, Cairo, and Khartoum.