US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa (SEHOA) Mike Hammer is to visit Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia, providing US support in a bid to forge a diplomatic resolution to issues related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the US Departmer of State has announced.

Negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan regarding the dam have faltered, with Egypt and Sudan concerned about potential impacts on water supply in their countries from the Ethiopian dam. 

Commissioned by Ethiopian Electric Power, and being built by WeBuild, the project is valued at €3.48 billion and is reportedly 88% complete. The 5150MW project is being built on the Blue Nile in the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz in Ethiopia and includes the design and construction of an RCC dam, a saddle dam and two power stations installed downstream at the foot of the dam on opposite shores. The main RCC dam will be 1800m long and 170m high. It will create a reservoir covering 1,875km2 and contain 74 billion m3 of water. The rockfill saddle dam will have a volume of 15.3 million m3 and crest length of 5000km.

News wire reports out of Egypt have said that third stage filling has recently begun at the project.