Egyptian officials participate in Rufiji River diversion ceremony for Tanzanian mega dam

A group of senior Egyptian officials attended Wednesday a ceremony in Tanzania celebrating the diversion of the course of the Rufiji River in order to continue construction work on the country’s awaited Julius Nyerere Hydropower Dam.

The Egyptian delegation was led by Minister of Housing Assem El-Gazzar and Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker.

The ceremony was also attended by Tanzanian Prime Minister along with other high-level officials.

The dam, which is a joint venture implemented by an Egyptian consortium made up of Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electric, has been under construction across the Rufiji River since 2019 and is projected to produce 2,115 megawatts of power. The consortium was awarded the tender to establish the hydropower dam in December 2018.

El-Gazzar said Egypt is giving priority to “one of the biggest Africa projects” in line with directives issued by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, noting that a working group has been formed by the ministry to follow up with the consortium on the project’s executive steps in order to surmount any potential obstacles.

“We realise the significance of this huge national project for your country as we have almost experienced the same conditions … We managed to build the High Dam,” the minister told the Tanzanian premier during the ceremony.

The project is reliant only on domestic Tanzanian raw materials, Minister El-Gazzar pointed out, while assuring “imports are kept to a minimum”.

The Egyptian minister thanked the Tanzanian government for supporting the Egyptian consortium working on the project, overcoming obstacles such as floods, and providing the needed equipment.

Al-Gazzar expressed Egypt’s readiness to train Tanzanian workers who are taking part in the project in the field of construction.

The $2.9-billion project comprises a main dam with a concrete body and four other saddle dams to form a reservoir with a capacity of approximately 34 billion cubic metres of water, in addition to a hydropower station.

The project aims at generating 6,307 megawatt-hours per year (MWh/yr) to fulfil the needs of some 17 million Tanzanian families.

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