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The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation issued, on Monday evening, an official statement regarding the Ethiopian side opening the low exits of the Renaissance Dam, in preparation for draining the central part of the dam to start ramping works to implement the filling process for the second year of the Renaissance Dam.
The ministry said: “In light of the inaccuracies published, the matter requires clarification that the Ethiopian claim that the Bottom Outlet (number 2) is capable of passing the average behavior of the Blue Nile is an incorrect claim, as the current capacity to act does not exceed 50 million. M3 / day for both openings, a quantity that does not meet the needs of the two downstream countries and does not match the average behavior of the Blue Nile.
The statement added that the implementation of the second filling process this year and the retention of large quantities of water, according to what was announced by the Ethiopian side, will greatly affect the river system, because the only control during the filling process in the quantities of water discharged from the dam will be these low exits, and the situation will be more complicated, starting from Flood season (next July) because the openings will release a lower discharge than usual to be received in July and August, as the maximum disposal of the low exits is estimated at 3 billion m3 per month assuming that the level of 595 meters is reached, which means the suffering of the two downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt, in the event that The occurrence of a moderate flood, and the situation will worsen in the event of a low flood, which confirms the imperative of having a binding legal agreement that includes a clear coordination mechanism.
The statement indicated that Egypt had previously demanded in 2012 and 2015 the necessity of increasing these openings to meet the needs of the two downstream countries and offered to finance the excess cost, and to give greater flexibility during filling and operation operations and dealing with various cases of floods and droughts, and Ethiopia claimed that these openings are sufficient and can also be operated continuously. In the event of a power outage.
The Ministry of Irrigation stated that during the first filling process, the Ethiopian side was supposed to generate electricity through early generation units (2 turbines), but the Ethiopian side carried out the first filling and storing water without generating electricity, which confirms that the first filling process was carried out for informational reasons. And political, not technical reasons.
The statement indicated that the outlets of the 13 turbines are not currently ready for operation, and therefore the generation of electricity to the degree promoted by the Ethiopian side is incorrect, and there is a strong correlation between the readiness of the turbines for generation and the amount of stored water, but the Ethiopian side is racing against time to impose a fait accompli on the two downstream countries from During the filling of the dam lake for the second year, despite the dam not being ready for the planned electrical generation.
The ministry explained that with regard to what was mentioned that the dam conforms to international specifications, it is an incorrect claim, because Ethiopia is building the dam in an improper manner, and we mention for example: changes in the auxiliary dam, changing the level of turbine holes, removing (3) turbine exits after their installation, Reducing the number of turbines from 16 to 13, removing the metal parts of the openings that work now and then installing them, not pouring concrete in the different parts of the dam in a homogeneous manner, which raised suspicions of corruption that caused the project to stop more than once.
The statement indicated that technical problems are known to occur during the trial operation of these openings or early turbines (2 turbines) – if the Ethiopian side is able to operate them, which will greatly affect the water flows to the downstream countries.
The statement stressed that Egypt has shown great flexibility during the negotiations over the past ten years with the aim of reaching a fair and binding legal agreement with regard to filling and operating the Renaissance Dam, stressing that the Ethiopian side’s initiation of the process of the second filling of the dam is a continuation of the approach followed to impose a fait accompli policy by taking unilateral measures. It would cause harm to the two downstream countries, due to the absence of a clear coordination mechanism between the three countries within the framework of a fair and binding legal agreement.