The powerful Alafouzos family contacted Norwegian Børge Bjørneklett at the end of last year. – A world-leading solution.
Most Norwegians can sign that the sun conditions in Greece are very good. It comes in handy for the Norwegian Ocean Sun, which has been chosen by the wealthy Alafouzos family to develop floating solar cells in Greece and Cyprus.
The Norwegian company went public last year, and is currently building a demonstration project in Albania for Statkraft and has an agreement on possible large deliveries in South Korea.
Read more about the technology of Ocean Sun here, and watch the video below:
Now the Alafouzos family, through the company MP Quantum Group, wants to use Ocean Sun technology to build liquid solar cells on land and sea reservoirs. The Greek company will enter the market and apply for permits with the Norwegian solution, and in the first instance, Ocean Sun will build a demonstration facility for the Greeks during the year.
– These demonstration projects are between two and four megawatts (MW). Eventually there will be larger projects, and in a few years we will build a minimum of 100 MW annually. This is going to be a deal of enormous proportions. Right now all the stars are in line, says an excited Børge Bjørneklett in Ocean Sun to Nettavisen Økonomi.
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Shipping family and media moguls
The Alafouzos family is considered a very powerful and influential player in Greece. The family has built up large sums through shipping, with significant companies such as Glafki Maritime, Kyklades Maritime and Ermis Maritime.
The family also owns the leading Greek newspaper Kathimerini, and has built up one of Greece’s largest media clusters, the Skai Group. In addition, Alafouzos owns the football club Panathinaikos, which the family has used in recent years to write off large parts of the debt.
In Norway, the family is also known as the majority owner of the tank company Okeanis Eco Tankers, which is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
– It was probably they who contacted us, and then we have worked with the agreement since Christmas time. The signing ceremony was at Teams, and was interrupted by the Greek Prime Minister calling Yiannis Alafouzos for something completely different. That says a bit about what connections this family has, says Bjørneklett.
He says that the exclusivity agreement with the Alafouzos family is for five years, and he believes that the good relations the family has with the Greek government will be able to simplify the development and development of “Norwegian” floating sun in Greece.
– This is a feather in the cap for us. The family has engaged highly competent actors to assess our technology, and they have come to the conclusion that they believe it will work in the Aegean, the Ionian Sea and in onshore reservoirs. We see it as a great recognition of Ocean Sun, because these are not people who waste time, says Bjørneklett.
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Greece is in a hurry to get rid of the coal
In a joint statement from MP Quantum Group and Ocean Sun, the head of the family, Yiannis Alafouzos, writes that liquid solar cells are perfectly suited to the Greek and Cypriot energy markets. He writes that the areas surveyed have good radiation, marine resources and that the authorities have committed themselves to pushing for the transition to renewable energy.
– Ocean Sun has a world-leading solution for floating solar cells with low operating costs and high power. The system’s seaworthiness makes it possible to use the solution along our elongated coast and among the island communities, writes Yiannis Alafouzos.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of the Liberal-Conservative New Democracy party has made it clear that Greece’s climate goals and emissions cuts are in line with the Paris Agreement. This means that brown coal, which accounted for 34 percent of Greek emissions between 1990 and 2017, will be completely cut out by 2028.
To achieve this, the Greek government will spend five billion euros, of which a good part of the funds will come in the form of support and loans from the EU, for new infrastructure and renewable energy.
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