Reaping benefits of 50 years of trust between China and Malta
Malta, an island country in the Mediterranean with 500,000 inhabitants, stands out among countries in the Belt and Road Initiative for its deep and historic ties with China.
From the Red China Dock to green power plants, China and Malta have set an example of friendly relations between large and small countries over the past 50 years by creating a spectrum of unprecedented cooperation.
The two big collaborations share similarities and differences. The difference lies in that Chinese workers didn't have much experience when they began to build a dock for the Maltese in 1975, while 40 years later, Shanghai Electric Power (SEP) brought funds, techniques, experience, and even new methods of profit in a sustainable way.
What's unchanged is that the two countries have maintained profound mutual trust.
SPIC Shanghai Electric Power took the lead in beginning its cooperation with Malta in 2013. It has greatly improved Malta's power supply stability and energy structure.
With the help of SEP, the residents of Malta started to enjoy a cleaner and more beautiful environment thanks to a huge reduction in carbon emissions.
One outstanding feat is the reuse of a now-obsolete power plant (Marsa) near the capital, Valletta.
Shanghai has had over the past decade much experience in reusing abandoned industrial plants.
"There are many alternatives for the transformation of the old plant, such as a commercial center, high-end residential buildings, or other public facilities like a museum or an art gallery," said Xia Meixing, deputy head of the SEP.
"As one of the stakeholders of Maltese energy company Enemalta, SEP gives its full support to any plan to revitalize old power stations that can make profits for the enterprise, improve the city image, create employment opportunities and enhance social benefits."
Also, since SEP and Enemalta have established a joint venture, the two have joined forces to promote the development of more renewable energy projects in the region around the Mediterranean Sea. The Mozura Wind Power Plant, as one of the only two wind power plants in Montenegro, is a successful example of cooperation.
In addition, in sight of EU's 2050 carbon-neutral targets and China's 3060 initiatives (the goal of reaching carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060), SEP is proposing a Zero Carbon Island Project, which is a "five-in-one"(energy, grid, load, storage and power control) project on the island of Gozo.
By the end of 2021, the 1 megawatt/2 megawatt-hour storage project reached the milestone of initial grid connection.