Egypt turns to Russia for assist with desalination crops amid Nile dam disaster

Feb 22, 2021

CAIRO — Egypt is in search of to maneuver ahead within the implementation of latest seawater desalination tasks in cooperation with the Russian Rusnano Group, which specializes on this area, to fill the nation’s water deficit that exceeds 20 billion cubic meters per yr amid the faltering negotiations on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Tripartite negotiations over the GERD proceed to stall because the final spherical of talks held Jan. 10 didn’t make any progress between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan.

In a Jan. 22 assertion, Abdel Moneim al-Terras, chairman of the Arab Group for Industrialization, stated that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed the federal government to spice up cooperation among the many state’s industrial and analysis establishments and exploit the nationwide manufacturing capabilities to advertise native manufacturing of water desalination plant tools.

Terras’ assertion got here throughout a video convention held between the Rusnano Group and the College of Alexandria in Egypt with the intention to talk about cooperation within the area of seawater desalination. The 2 events agreed throughout the talks to additional talk about the institution of a specialised manufacturing unit in Egypt for the manufacture of seawater desalination membranes in partnership with the Russian aspect. In addition they agreed to localize this business with the intention to scale back the value of a cubic meter of water and obtain added worth for the nationwide business.

President of Alexandria College Abdulaziz Konsowa pressured throughout the assembly that the institution of seawater desalination crops comes throughout the framework of the federal government’s strategy to hunt nontraditional alternate options to water assets.

Egypt suffers from a water deficit of as much as 20 billion cubic meters yearly, Eman Sayed, head of the planning sector on the Egyptian Ministry of Water Sources and Irrigation, advised Sky Information Arabia Feb. 10.

She defined that 97% of Egypt’s water assets come from the Nile River, and Egypt’s water wants attain 80 billion cubic meters yearly.

Osama Salam, a professor on the governmental Nationwide Water Analysis Middle and water professional on the Setting Company in Abu Dhabi, advised Al-Monitor, “Egypt must develop its nonconventional water assets to satisfy the challenges of inhabitants development, and one of the necessary nontraditional assets is seawater desalination.”

He defined that “the inhabitants development over the following 20 years requires an extra 5 billion cubic meters of consuming water.”

Salam stated, “Egypt is in want of extra water assets to satisfy its present and anticipated future water deficit — be it to satisfy the wants of a rising inhabitants or for any exterior causes, together with the GERD. It might be an amazing achievement if it may well handle to desalinate seawater to cater to the wants of the coastal governorates and canopy the longer term demand for consuming water.”

He added, “Working to localize the seawater desalination business in cooperation with the Russian aspect throughout such occasions is essential so far as proudly owning and growing these applied sciences is anxious, as a result of such tasks assist Egypt safe its water wants.”

Nevertheless, he stated, “The desalination value continues to be excessive, and using desalinated water can be strictly restricted to assembly the consuming and home use wants. Within the occasion of a lower within the prices of desalination sooner or later, the use [of water] in agriculture could also be prolonged to some forms of crops that want little water and are of excessive financial worth.”

He stated he believes that “the event of nontraditional water assets — together with desalination — is essential to face the water challenges basically.”

Nevertheless, Mohammed Nasreddin Allam, former Egyptian minister of water assets and irrigation, advised Al-Monitor, “Water desalination tasks won’t be able to bridge the water deficit that Egypt suffers from and that exceeds 20 billion cubic meters.”

Allam stated, “This [desalination project] is not going to assist resolve any water shortages. The tasks that we’re finishing up are attempting to supply consuming water to coastal cities or new cities [only].”

He identified that “water desalination and irrigation rationalization tasks primarily goal at dealing with the water disaster in Egypt.”

Allam pressured, “Egypt depends on its historic share of the Nile water to satisfy its numerous wants in all fields, and can proceed to decide to the negotiation monitor [on the GERD crisis] to acquire its proper.”

Abbas Sharaki, head of the Pure Sources Division at Cairo College’s African Analysis and Research Institute, advised Al-Monitor, “The primary goal behind seawater desalination is to ship water to new cities or to industrial or tourism tasks.”

Nevertheless, he believes that the Egyptian water desalination tasks will not be instantly linked to the stalling GERD negotiations.

Hanan Omar, head of the consuming water sector within the south Sinai governorate, stated in a Feb. 15 assertion that two seawater desalination crops are to be constructed inside two years to supply a everlasting resolution to the consuming water disaster within the vacationer metropolis of Sharm el-Sheikh.

“Having a rising inhabitants … poses a giant downside for the Egyptian authorities, which is looking for alternative routes to satisfy the Egyptian water wants,” Sharaki stated. “Through the previous years Egypt would desalinate about 100 million cubic meters of water per yr, however with the desalination crops within the Sinai Peninsula, Marsa Matruh and on the Pink Sea, we’re at present producing 400 million cubic meters per yr. The federal government is aiming for 1 billion cubic meters of desalinated water by 2030.”

Requested in regards to the at present stalled GERD negotiations, Sharaki famous, “Egypt desires to succeed in an settlement with Ethiopia and Sudan — be it by way of the African Union or by way of exterior mediation, however having negotiations go on like that is solely a waste of time. If the disaster is just not resolved throughout the coming months, we should resort to the UN Safety Council.”

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