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Croatia inaugurates Chinese-built “milestone” wind farm

A wind turbine blade is installed at the construction site of the Senj Wind Farm in Senj, Croatia, Sept. 27, 2020. (Photo by Ding Decai/Xinhua)

ZAGREB — A wind farm constructed by a Chinese company in Croatia was officially inaugurated on Tuesday, with congratulations from both heads of government.

The farm, built by China’s Norinco International with a total installed capacity of 156 MW over an area of 42.8 square km, is expected to produce about 530 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green electricity each year and reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 460,000 tonnes per year.

The farm at Senj, a city on the Adriatic coast in western Croatia, is key to the clean and renewable energy sector in the city and in Croatia in general, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at the launch ceremony.

Norinco has become one of the largest investors in Croatia’s green economy and through this investment the country will be able to increase the amount of renewable energy it generates, Plenkovic said.

The prime minister also applauded the good relations between the two countries and the increasing volume of bilateral trade this year, which is expected to surpass the 1.4 billion U.S. dollars registered last year. He said he appreciated China’s delivery of medical equipment to Croatia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Qi Qianjin said that the Senj project was a milestone in “China-Croatia and China-Europe green cooperation,” and played an important role in increasing the production and consumption of clean energy in the country.

The Sino-Croatian comprehensive cooperative partnership has further strengthened mutual trust, Qi noted, adding that the two countries will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.

“I sincerely hope that more China-Croatia, China-Croatia-Europe cooperation projects will take root in Croatia, achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, make greater contributions to the local economy and society, enhance the friendship between the two peoples, and consolidate and upgrade the Sino-Croatian comprehensive cooperative partnership,” Qi said.

In a video call, Ning Jizhe, deputy head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, read out Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s letter of congratulation for the project. China North Industries Group Chairman Jiao Kaihe and Croatian Ambassador to China Dario Mihelin also addressed the ceremony through video.

In November 2017, Norinco International signed an agreement with Croatia’s Energija Projekt — a company specially set up to run the wind farm — on the purchase of a 76 percent stake in the project and obtained the right to construct and operate it for 25 years.

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