VALLETTA, Sept 11 China Power Investments is to
take a minority stake in Malta energy supplier Enemalta
Corporation, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said on
Wednesday, in a move that gives the Chinese firm an EU foothold
in producing photo-voltaic units.
In the largest trade dispute between the European Union and
China, EU companies accuse Chinese rivals of benefiting from
unfair state aid and selling about 21 billion euros ($27.86
billion) worth of solar panels in Europe last year.
The dispute threatened a wider trade war in goods from wine
to steel until Brussels and Beijing agreed a minimum price for
panels from China in late July and eased tensions.
China Power and Enemalta plan to set up a joint venture to
produce photo-voltaic units in Malta for sale in the EU.
Roof-top photo-voltaic units convert energy from the sun into
Enemalta is currently fully owned by the Maltese government
and has a monopoly in the supply of electricity in Malta. It is
labouring under a debt burden of 800 million euros which has
dented its credit rating.
The Times of Malta newspaper quoted unnamed sources as
saying the Chinese company would make an investment of 200
The agreement was announced following a meeting between
Muscat and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in the city of
($1 = 0.7538 euros)
(Reporting by Chris Scicluna; editing by Jason Neely)