Chinese officials to table widespread energy investment interest

Chinese investors are looking to, more or less, cover the Greek energy sector’s entire gamut.

Talks during a two-day visit, today and tomorrow, by a Chinese delegation headed by China’s President President Xi Jinping, are expected to cover energy cooperation in the installation of smart power meters and fiber optics to networks, investments in natural gas-fueled power stations, energy storage, as well as joint ventures for solar, wind and biomass energy projects.

This widespread Chinese investment interest, more or less covering the sector’s entire gamut, also includes financial support as well as the sale of all types of technology needed.

The interest of Chinese investors was made clear to power utility PPC chief executive Giorgos Stassis on a trip to China a week ago.

Talks between officials will include interest by State Grid Corp of China (SGCC) to build on its 24 percent stake of Greek power grid operator IPTO and enter the equity make-up of the operator’s subsidiary Ariadne, project promoter of the Crete-Athens electricity grid link.

Joint investments with PPC and other players in the renewable energy domain will also be explored.

HEDNO/DEDDIE’s plan for the installation of smart power meters is another topic of interest for the visiting Chinese investors.

The next chapter of preceding talks with PPC officials for the development of gas-fired power stations is also expected.

Fuel shift alternatives of the power utility PPC’s prospective Ptolemaida V power station, originally planned as a coal generator, will also be tabled.

Just days ago, PPC officials, led by Stassis, the CEO, held a range of meetings at the Shanghai International Import Expo 2019 with China Development Bank, Shanghai Electric and China Three Gorges, holding a stake in Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis.

China Intellectual Electric Power (solar), ZTE (telecommunications) and CHINT (smart power meters) are among other companies also believed to be seeking to secure investments in the Greek market, sources informed.

Chinese investors drawn by green PPC plan, Ptolemaida V

Power utility PPC’s plans for a restructured green future, as part of the country’s full decarbonization objective, set for 2028 by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have generated considerable business interest in China, by far the world’s biggest manufacturer of renewable energy equipment and developer of energy storage and electric vehicle technology.

Small, mid and large-scale Chinese investors have displayed strong interest, asking many questions, at a series of meetings with PPC chief executive Giorgos Stassis, in China for Shanghai’s International Import Expo 2019, running until November 10.

Besides seeking to generate sales of equipment, Chinese company officials, more crucially, are also looking to establish joint RES investments in all domains, from wind and solar energy to biomass and combined technologies. Interest for the development of new thermal units, as well as financial support by Chinese banks, has also emerged.

A conversion plan for PPC’s Ptolemaida V unit, still under construction and initially planned to operate as a coal generator but now being reconsidered for a switch to natural gas, biomass, solar or a combination of these, stands as a major attraction for investors and banks. Stassis, the PPC chief, has received various proposals for Ptolemaida V at the Shanghai event.

Work groups will be tasked with appraising these proposals once Stassis returns to Greece. His meetings yesterday included talks with China Development Bank, Shanghai Electric and China Three Gorges, holding a stake in Portugal’s EDP Renovaveis.

Besides green energy projects, not necessarily just with PPC, Chinese investors are also eager to penetrate Greece’s nascent electric vehicle market. Chinese companies are the world’s leaders in this domain. Highlighting this dominance, all 16,000 buses operating in the city Shenzhen are electric.

 

Foreign players new to Greek market apply for upcoming RES auction

A number of foreign players new to the Greek market have submitted applications for wind and solar energy capacities to be offered at a RES auction on July 2.

Interested foreign players who met a June 5 deadline for applications include EDP Renovaveis, a subsidiary of Portugal’s EDP, among Europe’s major electricity operators.

According to energypress sources, EDP Renovaveis submitted applications for two wind energy projects with respective capacities of 45 MW and 15 MW. The company has purchased licenses from firms already active in the Greek market for these projects.

In another noteworthy development, Rokas Iberdrola, which had essentially stopped making investments over the past six years, also submitted an application.

China Three Gorges (CTG) holds a 23 percent stake of EDP, the parent company of EDP Renovaveis.

The Chinese firm recently made a 9.1 billion-euro offer to takeover EDP in its entirety. However, this offer, made on May 15, was rejected by the EDP board. CTG will need to make an improved offer if it is to stand a chance of buying out EDP.

Besides its role in the Portuguese market, EDP is also active in the natural gas and electricity markets of 14 countries, including the US (wind energy), Brazil (hydropower), France, Italy and Poland (wind energy markets of all three), as well as electricity generation and distribution in Spain.