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VINCI Construction Grands Projets delivers Egypt’s new Assiut Dam

September 06, 2018

The course of the Nile diverted and later restored to enable dry construction. Irrigation of nearly 700,000 hectares of agricultural land and generation of 32 MW of electrical power.

On August 12, 2018, VINCI Construction Grands Projets delivered the new Assiut Dam, located midway between Cairo and Luxor, in an official ceremony with the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, in attendance. The new dam is located 400 metres downstream from the former dam, an early-20th-century structure that no longer met capacity requirements. The new dam can irrigate nearly 700,000 hectares of additional agricultural land, which is a strategic added value in a country with sustained population growth. The dam will also generate 32 MW of electrical power thanks to four 8-MW turbines and enhance two-way river navigation on the Nile through a system of large locks.

Work on this project, which began in May 2012, consisted initially in drawing down the Nile Valley aquifer to 35 metres below the level of the Nile River on highly permeable alluvial terrain. To that end, we developed a pumping system consisting of 89 deep wells to collect water 40 metres below the riverbed. As a result, to enable dry construction, up to 300,000 m3 of water were evacuated a day. All told, this dam-building project required 370,000 mof concrete (the equivalent of a latest-generation nuclear power plant) and 65,000 tonnes of reinforcement.

This technological performance was made possible thanks to VINCI Construction Grands Projets’ extensive experience in designing and building major dams, including the Naga Hammadi Dam, also located on the Nile in Egypt and delivered in 2008. To achieve the project, 2,200 local workers were hired and trained to meet our standards with regard to safety, quality, and worksite organisation. Currently, VINCI Construction is building another major dam - in Kenya. In late 2017, the consortium consisting of VINCI Construction Terrassement, Sogea-Satom (subsidiaries of VINCI Construction) and Egis Eau began work on the Ruiru II Dam construction contract whose objective is to increase drinking-water supply in Nairobi.

VINCI Construction, a leading and longstanding player in Egypt

The new Assiut Dam adds to VINCI Construction’s numerous achievements in Egypt, which span more than a century since GTM took part in dredging operations for the Suez Canal as early as 1899. VINCI Construction also contributed to salvage operations for the Nubian temples of Abu Simbel and Amada carried out from 1964 to 1969. Currently, VINCI Construction Grands Projets is taking part in building new metro lines in Cairo (Phases 3 and 4a of Line 3), having delivered the El Azhar road tunnels in 2001 and the Ain Sukhna rolling mill in 2008.