Greek power grid operator turns to China for fresh funding

ATHENS, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Greece’s power grid operator ADMIE has signed a non-binding agreement with China Development Bank as it looks for fresh capital to finance infrastructure projects.

State-controlled ADMIE and China Development Bank signed a memorandum of understanding, aiming to help the Greek operator to gain access to fresh credit, ADMIE said on Friday.

China’s State Grid, the world’s biggest utility, acquired a 24 percent stake in ADMIE earlier this year as part of a spin-off scheme under Greece’s latest international bailout, aimed at opening up the power market.

Greece hopes State Grid will help ADMIE with a 2 billion euro 10-year investment plan, which includes connecting the island of Crete to the mainland’s grid via undersea cables.

China has been investing in Greece in recent years, aiming to turn the country into a hub for growing business with Europe.

China’s biggest shipping company COSCO Shipping bought a 51 percent stake in Greece’s biggest port Piraeus last year.

And Greek infrastructure group Copelouzos announced on Thursday that China’s top coal miner Shenhua Group had acquired a 75 percent stake in four wind parks. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Alexander Smith)