Strategic observation

Interview: China's knowhow, Arab resources create massive potentials for energy cooperation: AL official

2018-11-08 00:18:18 (Beijing Time)         English.news.cn

0

by Mahmoud Fouly, Li Binian

CAIRO, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's knowhow and abundant energy resources in the Arab world create massive potentials for deepening energy cooperation between the two sides, a senior official of the Cairo-based Arab League (AL) told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"China has advanced technology and expertise in the field of wind and solar energy, while Arab states are the largest gas and oil exporters in the world. So, there are massive potentials for cooperation between China and Arab states in the field of energy," said Kamal Hassan Ali, AL assistant secretary-general for economic affairs.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) provides huge opportunities in all fields, particularly in the energy field, Ali said.

The BRI, proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It aims at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

"It will provide massive opportunities in the fields of electric interconnection, energy efficiency, renewable energy and the exchange of energy expertise," Ali told Xinhua on the sidelines of the 6th session of the Arab-China Cooperation Conference on Energy, which is held in Cairo on Nov. 5-8.

The conference is a platform to explore the available opportunities for energy investments between China and Arab states, according to the AL official.

"We also discussed the establishment of a center for renewable energy to exchange expertise between China and the Arab world through training personnel working in the field of energy from both sides," Ali added.

Chinese corporations have been carrying out a number of energy projects in several Arab states including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco and Jordan.

In Egypt, China's Dongfang Electric and Shanghai Electric corporations are working on building a coal-fired power plant in Hamrawein region on the Red Sea coast.

The power plant will be finished in six years, using ultra-supercritical, near-zero polluting power generating technology on six coal-fired units with a total generating capacity of 6.6 gigawatts.

Meanwhile, China's TBEA SunOasis clean energy company started earlier this year construction of four solar power stations at the Benban Solar Energy Park in Egypt's southern province of Aswan, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

In the UAE, China's Harbin Electric International has joined hands with Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power in a joint venture to build the Hassyan Clean Coal project in Dubai. The power plant comprises four units that will generate 600 megawatts each after completion, using ultra-supercritical technology.

Ali explained that the Arab vision on energy is based on three goals: maintaining the strategic position of the Arab region in the world's energy markets, enhancing Arab energy integration and diversifying the sources of energy in the Arab region.

"This vision cannot be completed without regional and international cooperation which allows exchange of expertise and knowledge. The Arab-China Cooperation Conference on Energy is the best example to embody such cooperation," Ali said.

Since 2015, Shandong Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China, has been constructing the giant Noor Solar Complex in Morocco's Ouarzazate.

Once completed, Noor Solar Complex will provide clean energy for more than 1 million Moroccan households and even export electricity to Europe.

"The Arab-China cooperation in the field of energy is expected to create a vast and extended regional market, opening a lot of economic opportunities for both sides," Ali said.