China Three Gorges enters Spanish energy market with solar plants buy

MADRID, Aug 18 (Reuters) - China’s state-owned energy and infrastructure giant China Three Gorges (CTG) has agreed to buy 13 Spanish solar plants built by Madrid-based renewables firm X-Elio, marking its entry into the Spanish energy sector, X-Elio said on Tuesday.

The expansion into Spain follows CTG’s purchase of a 23% stake in Portugal’s largest utility EDP-Energias de Portugal, which has provoked concerns in the United States and some European countries over China’s growing influence in the sector.

The photovoltaic plants were built between 2019 and 2020, and are fully operational with a total capacity of just over 500 megawatts, X-Elio said, adding the deal was signed on Friday.

“This represents a landmark transaction for CTG... our first direct investment in Spain,” China Three Gorges Chairman Wu Shengliang was quoted as saying in a joint statement. “We believe Spain is the biggest solar market and... will consider future opportunities to grow our platforms.”

The statement said the transaction would be finalised by the end of the year, but did not specify how much the deal was worth. (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip and Barbara Lewis)