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What is China’s influence on Portugal’s Power Grid?


What is China’s influence on Portugal’s Power Grid? - portugal news
What is China’s influence on Portugal’s Power Grid? - Portugal Business News

Portugal news - What is China’s influence on Portugal’s Power Grid? Portugal’s Critical Infrastructure includes its national power grid operator, REN, that is privatized with China’s state-owned company State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as the largest shareholder.


On Monday the 8th, that is an auspicious number in Chinese culture because it sounds like the word “to generate wealth,” China’s Vice President Han Zheng inspected Portugal’s REN R&D Center in the presence of Portugal’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Ana Fontoura Gouveia.


Han Zheng is the Vice President of the People's Republic of China since 2023. On Monday, Han Zheng vowed to strengthen the cooperation on energy and innovation between Portugal and China. He added that “China commends the Portuguese government for its firm efforts to promote the energy transformation and to support the development of the new energy industry.”


China’s Vice President declared that China’s strategic partnership in Portugal’s energy grid was a prime example of a win-win cooperation between China and Portugal.


Portugal’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate, Ana Fontoura Gouveia, stated that Portugal-China relations were stable and that the existing bilateral cooperation had yielded fruitful results. She added that Portugal is willing to further deepen concrete bilateral cooperation with China, especially in the fields of energy and innovation.


It is to be noted that Portugal’s national grid operator, REN, that is traded on Euronext Lisbon, was privatized in February 2012 when Portugal sold a 25% share to China’s State Grid that is the world’s 2nd largest energy operator.


Since 2012, China is also the largest shareholder of Portugal’s energy grid and paid EUR 387.15 million for a quarter of REN’s capital.


The State Grid Corporation of China appointed Xin Baoan as their new Chairman in 2021. Xin Baoan is also the Chairman of the Communist Party of China’s group at the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). The SGCC has actively promoted the Belt and Road initiative and is helping China take the lead among developing countries for developing their power grids.


In Portugal, its national power grid operator, REN, has members of China’s State Grid that sit on the Board of Directors. REN’s Board of Directors has 15 members, out of which 3 are nominated by China’s State Grid. The overall management of Portugal’s national grid operator REN is attributed to the Board of Directors, while its day-to-day management is entrusted to the Executive Committee.


Portugal’s national grid operator REN has become an important platform for an international energy exchange that has extended its influence not only to China, Portugal and Europe, but also to the rest of the world. The China-Portugal ties in the field of energy aim at strengthening REN's contribution to the Iberian energy markets and at promoting the interconnections between the Iberian market and the rest of Europe and North Africa.




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