A tripartite national committee (TNC) of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt has agreed to commence the long delayed study on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) within the next month. A French consultancy firm, Artelia, has replaced conflict ridden firm Deltares previously selected to conduct the study. Artelia will be a sub consultant under the main consultant BRL Ingenierie.
Over the previous five months, the tripartite National Technical Committee (NTC) has undertaken several meetings to resolve conflict between two companies initially selected in April last year. The two firms, the Dutch Deltares and French BRL Ingenierie, were unable to work together on the study causing several delays in project deliverables. The Deltares, Egypt’s preferred firm, later withdrew from the project leaving BRL Ingenierie in charge.
The ministerial meeting held for three days until December 29 in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, concluded with the selection of another French firm, Artelia, to manage the study – leaving behild both Deltares. Artelia was among seven short listed firms during the initial selection process.
A hydrology simulation model and socioeconomic impacts assessment of the project are areas that the study will cover. It is expected that the study will take from six to 15 months to complete.
The multibillion dollar GERD project being constructed on Tikur Abay will be the biggest ever hydroelectric project on the continent. The locally funded the 6,000 megawatt dam, being built by Italy’s largest construction firm, Salini Impregilo SpA, is almost half done.
The TNC is expected to hold their next meeting in Ethiopia.