Egypt Ready for All Possible Scenarios in GERD Dispute

 An aerial view of the Nile River, agricultural lands and homes from an airplane window on a flight between Cairo and Luxor on Saturday, April 10, 2021 (EPA)
An aerial view of the Nile River, agricultural lands and homes from an airplane window on a flight between Cairo and Luxor on Saturday, April 10, 2021 (EPA)
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Egypt Ready for All Possible Scenarios in GERD Dispute

 An aerial view of the Nile River, agricultural lands and homes from an airplane window on a flight between Cairo and Luxor on Saturday, April 10, 2021 (EPA)
An aerial view of the Nile River, agricultural lands and homes from an airplane window on a flight between Cairo and Luxor on Saturday, April 10, 2021 (EPA)

The Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty said his country was ready to deal with all possible issues arising from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Abdel Aty's televised statements came after Addis Ababa announced its plans to move forward with filling the dam reservoir when the rainy season begins even if no binding legal agreement was reached in this regard.

However, the minister said that his country is not concerned, even if Ethiopia implements the second phase of filling the dam, saying the state would not wait for any damage to occur and that Egypt had prepared for all possible scenarios five years ago.

Egypt and Sudan on Saturday rejected an Ethiopian proposal to share data on the operations of its giant hydropower dam on the Blue Nile after negotiations between the three countries in Kinshasa this week ended without progress.

“Ethiopia invites Sudan and Egypt to nominate dam operators for data exchange before the filling of GERD in upcoming rainy seasons,” the Ethiopian foreign ministry wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

However, Cairo and Khartoum maintained that they are seeking a legally binding agreement over the operations of the dam, which Addis Ababa says is crucial to its economic development.

Cairo rejects “any unilateral measures taken by Ethiopia and will not accept reaching understandings that provide political and technical cover for the Ethiopian efforts to impose a fait accompli on the two downstream countries,” the Irrigation Ministry said.

Cairo fears the potential negative impact of GERD on the flow of its annual share of the Nile’s 55.5 billion cubic meters of water especially that it relies on it for more than 90 percent of its water supplies.

Abdel Aty said that while reserves at the Aswan High Dam could help stave off the effects of a second fill, his chief concern was drought management.

The Egyptian state will not allow any water crisis to occur, he stressed, noting that it is better for Addis Ababa to allow resolving this decade-long crisis through negotiations.



Egypt Needs to Import $1.18 Billion in Fuel to End Power Cuts, PM Says

The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
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Egypt Needs to Import $1.18 Billion in Fuel to End Power Cuts, PM Says

The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)

Egypt needs to import around $1.18 billion worth of mazut fuel oil and natural gas to end persistent power cuts exacerbated by consecutive heat waves, its Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised address on Tuesday.

It hopes the shipments will arrive in full around the third week of July, by which point the government aims to stop cutting power during the remaining summer months, he added.

It has already started contracting for 300,000 tons of mazut worth $180 million to boost its strategic reserves which are expected to arrive early next week.

Egypt's government on Monday extended daily power cuts to three hours from two hours previously in response to a surge in domestic electricity consumption during the latest heat wave.

These three-hour cuts will continue until the end of June, before returning to two hours in the first half of July with the aim of stopping completely for the rest of the summer, Madbouly said on Tuesday.

Egyptian social media has lit up with complaints about the impact of the blackouts, with some saying they have been forced to purchase private power generators.

The problem has particularly affected teenagers preparing for the crucial high school certificate, with some posting about students studying by candlelight and others in coffee shops.

A wedding hall owner in the coastal city of Port Said said he would turn one of his ballrooms into a study hall.

Since July last year, load shedding linked to falling gas production, rising demand and a shortage of foreign currency has led to scheduled two-hour daily power cuts in most areas.

"We had said that we planned to end load shedding by the end of 2024... we do not have a power generation problem or a network problem, we are unable to provide fuel," Madbouly said on Tuesday.

"With the increase in consumption related to the major development and population increase, there has been a lot of pressure on our dollar resources," he added.

He said production in a neighboring country's gas field had come to a full halt for 12 hours leading to an interruption in the supply, without naming the country or the gas field.

Egypt's Abu Qir Fertilizers said on Tuesday three of its plants had halted production because their supply of natural gas was cut.