Saudi power, green hydrogen to advance Greece’s plans to be Europe’s energy hub: Minister

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Updated 26 October 2022

Saudi power, green hydrogen to advance Greece’s plans to be Europe’s energy hub: Minister

Saudi power, green hydrogen to advance Greece’s plans to be Europe’s energy hub: Minister
  • By importing power from the Kingdom, Greece will become Europe’s energy hub, says Greek investment minister

RIYADH: Greece wants to import renewable energy from Saudi Arabia to advance its position as an energy hub for Europe, its minister for investment and development said Tuesday.

Speaking to Arab News at the 6th edition of the Future Investment Initiative forum in Riyadh, Adonis Georgiadi said his country and the Kingdom are developing a plan to export green hydrogen to the Hellenic Republic.

Saudi Arabia is "going to produce the biggest green hydrogen on the planet. So yes, this would be one way," he said.

The Kingdom is building the world's largest green hydrogen plant in NEOM that is expected to be online in 2025. 

“We will also build a cable and will let electricity flow from the Kingdom to Europe,” said Georgiadi, a move that no doubt will be welcomed by a continent mindful of its energy security.

Talks are ongoing to determine how the two countries will be linked and a memorandum of understanding will be signed once an agreement is reached, he added.

FDIs and Greek economy growth

Georgiadi is optimistic about the future of the Greek economy. Following the trials and tribulations of the eurozone debt crisis of the previous decade, the nation saw record growth in 2022.

“The predictions we have are that we will have growth of over 2 percent next year, even though a lot of European countries unfortunately will have a recession. If we manage that for 2023, it will be a good score,” he said

This year, Greece has enjoyed its highest level of foreign direct investments, a new income record drawn from tourism, and exports at an all-time high.

“We will grow over 5, and close to 6, percent, which is very good for European standards. If the world’s (current situation) was not there, I would tell you that next year will grow even better,” he added.

Georgiadi believes foreign direct investments and exports will be the major contributors to growth in 2023 and that more investments are likely to come from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

When Saudi and Greek officials met in July during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Athens, the discussions focused on joint ventures in communications, transport, logistics and energy.

In addition, a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding were signed, with a total value of about SR14 billion ($3.7 billion).

1st Saud-Greek Council

Georgiadi said he and his Saudi counterpart will meet again next week in Athens for the first business council meeting between both countries.

“The council will have its first session next week in Athens, with a lot of private enterprises from both countries that have already started to sign agreements together, integrated together, and opening a new era in our economic relationship, our effort is to find a way to balance our economic relationship to the same excellent level as in the political level,” he said.

A strategic partnership between the Saudi and Greek private sectors to build a data cable between the two countries was also announced on the sidelines of the crown prince’s visit.

STC Group announced that its subsidiary, Middle East and North Africa Hub, will cooperate with the Greek telecoms firm TSSA to build a data corridor that extends from the Kingdom to Europe through a modern, high-capacity network of terrestrial optical fibers under the sea, to connect Europe and Asia.

The project aims to position the two countries as an eastern digital station through which Europe can reach the Middle East and the continents of Africa and Asia.

Along with 21 investment agreements, Saudi Arabia and Greece also signed a deal to promote digital transformation and innovation in the fields of energy, including cybersecurity, while working to develop qualitative partnerships to localize materials, products and services related to all energy sectors and their associated supply chains and technologies.