China and Greece agreed on the formation of a Minimum Intermittency Operating System (MINOS) 50-megawatt solar thermal project in Crete, Greece's largest island in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to an official announcement on Monday.
The announcement was made in the aftermath of Chinese President Xi Jinping's official visit to Athens in which the delegations from the two countries signed 16 trade deals that mostly focused on boosting new Chinese energy investments in Greece.
The MINOS plant will generate calculable and continual electricity from solar energy from the site in Crete that is considered one of the best in Europe for the production of the highest solar energy capacity.
China’s State Grid holds a minority stake in the Greek power grid operator, Independent Power Transmission Operator S.A. (ADMIE).
On Monday, State Grid expressed interest in taking part in ADMIE’s €1 billion scheme to build an undersea power cable to link the island of Crete to the mainland by 2023.
Another project between the two countries will see plans of China Ocean Shipping Company Limited (COSCO) to turn Greece’s largest port Piraeus into the biggest commercial harbor in Europe and the most important transit port of the Mediterranean. The project will cover the spending of about $660 million to boost operations, including mandatory investments of $330,661 by 2022, which on completion, will allow it to acquire an additional 16% stake in the port.
The two countries have drawn closer since 2009 when COSCO won a 35-year concession to upgrade and run container cargo piers in Piraeus.
Today, the port of Piraeus constitutes an international hub linking Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East with China.
Bilateral cooperation in maritime transport is based on EU-China Maritime Cooperation inked in 2008, as well as on the EU-China Strategic Agenda 2020 that provides a framework to cover the evolution of the EU and China's strategic partnership.
By Gokce Kucuk and Busranur Begcecanli