In the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Kou Wei, Executive Chairman of State Grid and Manos Manousakis, Chairman and CEO of Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) signed the Agreement for the Expression of Interest to Invest in Ariadne Interconnection on November 11 local time in Greece. The aim is to enhance connectivity of energy infrastructure, deepen bilateral pragmatic cooperation in the energy sector, and follow up on the “Belt and Road” Initiative.
With strong support from the Chinese and Greek governments, State Grid acquired a 24% stake of IPTO in June 2017 and has since been its major long-term investor. State Grid adheres to the principle of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” in its in-depth cooperation with Greek partners. It works with IPTO to improve corporate management and energy supply in the interest of Greece’s socioeconomic development. As the largest Greek island capable of independent power generation and supply, Crete has yet to be connected to the grid of Greece’s mainland. To solve such problems as high costs and heavy pollution derived from the island’s power generation, IPTO is planning to leverage the ±500 kV VSC-HVDC technology to get Crete connected and thus significantly reduce the cost of electricity, improve the ecological environment and tap the potential of renewable energy. The signing of this Agreement before the Chinese and Greek leaders marks another milestone as it presents new opportunities for State Grid to contribute further to energy infrastructure in Greece. State Grid will continue to take full advantage of its strengths in power grid construction, operation and management, share its knowledge in VSC-HVDC technology and support the project by providing expertise, organizing technical exchanges and personnel training to ensure success of the project.
Kou Wei was also invited to the welcome state banquet hosted by Greek President Pavlopoulos for President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in the evening of November 11.
Kou Wei held respective talks with Kostis Hatzidakis, Greek Minister of the Environment and Energy and Manos Manousakis, IPTO Chairman and CEO. Both sides exchanged ideas on how to serve and advance the Belt and Road Initiative and deepen bilateral cooperation in energy sector. Kou Wei briefed on State Grid’s latest achievements in building a world-class energy internet company with “Three Functions and Two Networks”. He noted that Greece is a key converging point for both overland and maritime passages of the Silk Road and a natural partner for the joint efforts under the Belt and Road Initiative. State Grid values IPTO and always adheres to the principle of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits” for win-win cooperation. Driven by a long-term, localization and market-oriented philosophy of business operation, the corporation is working closely with local partners through friendly consultation to improve IPTO’s operation, management and energy services. The company will actively implement the Agreement signed with IPTO and endeavor to contribute further to the economic, social and environmental development of Greece.
Kostis Hatzidakis expressed his admiration for State Grid’s achievements, as well as his gratitude to State Grid for its contributions to IPTO, which expedites energy transition, improves power supply and boosts local economic and social development. He introduced the new round of privatization of power assets in Greece. He said that the two countries enjoy a long-standing tradition of friendly exchanges and are reliable partners to each other. The Ministry of the Environment and Energy of Greece actively supports and participates in the Belt and Road Initiative and will continue to support State Grid’s efforts to invest in and run the IPTO and the Ariadne interconnection. He welcome State Grid’s further investment in Greece. He hopes the two sides will work closely together, give full play to respective advantages, provide new momentum to the economic and social development of Greece and elevate the bilateral cooperation in electricity and energy to a new level.
Manos Manousakis thanked State Grid for its commitment to IPTO and the Ariadne interconnection, and said he would continue to work closely with the Chinese team to ensure the steady operation of IPTO, improve its business performance and stimulate economic, social and environmental development of Greece. It is important to make IPTO a role model for joint endeavors under the Belt and Road framework and deepened China-Greece cooperation in energy infrastructure.
Also present were Zhu Guangchao, Deputy CTO and Director General of the Department of International Cooperation of State Grid, and executives of State Grid International Development Co., Ltd (SGID).