DUBAI - The Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Hellenic Republic and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) have signed a preliminary cooperation agreement consolidating Masdar’s commitment to sponsor green infrastructure projects on the picturesque Greek island of Poros aiming at its sustainable transformation, as part of “GR-Eco Islands” Initiative.

The agreement was signed at the COP28 Greek Pavilion in the presence of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, and Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, COP28 President and Chairman of Masdar.

Dr. Al Jaber said, “The innovative “GR-Eco Islands” initiative demonstrates that every nation, region or island can contribute towards the tripling of global renewable energy capacity and an equitable energy transition. Greece is setting a positive example for the world in preserving natural habitats through green infrastructure projects and spearheading sustainable development.”

Under the agreement signed today, the Ministry and Masdar have agreed to collaborate on vital infrastructure work on Poros. This includes locally developed and installed renewable energy projects; decarbonising maritime transportation through the introduction of a new fully electric ferry, and the conversion of existing small traditional passenger boats to electric vessels; greening the island's vehicle fleet; and implementing a comprehensive "Zero Waste" model with a focus on 100-percent landfill diversion and circular waste management.

The parties will now move to determine the technical specificities of the planned activities, with the aim of provisionally agreeing on the framework for the execution of the project in the next few months.

Theodoros Skylakakis, Minister of Environment and Energy of the Hellenic Republic, stated, “The agreement between the Greek Government and Masdar, within the framework of the “GR-Eco Islands” initiative, contributes to the transformation of Poros into a model island of energy transition leading to multiple benefits for the local economy. The delivery of a Solar PV plant of circa 7MW will cover a large part of the island’s annual energy requirements. At the same time, with the introduction of a fully electric ferry, with the conversion of the island's means of transport (e.g., traditional boats, buses, etc.) into electric and with the development of a publicly accessible smart EV charging infrastructure network across the island, the residents and the visitors will gain immediate access in green and cheap energy for their transportation. This flagship initiative marks the government's broader policy to increase clean energy, which includes the activation of financing tools and the implementation of decarbonisation actions. Greece has huge solar and wind potential, and our goal is the Renewable Energy Sources to be the main source of electricity in the country by 2030.”

Alexandra Sdoukou, Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy of the Hellenic Republic, stated, “In recent years, Greece has emerged as a frontrunner in climate action, implementing innovative projects, such as the sustainable transformation of small island communities in the context of the “GR-Eco Islands” Initiative. The first smart and sustainable island was Astypalea, which served as a pilot project. The island of Chalki followed suit, launching the Initiative officially. And now we are joining forces with Masdar - building on the MoU we signed last year - to bring Poros into the 'GR-Eco Islands' world. At a time when international cooperation for a more viable future is needed more than ever, Greece and the UAE are collaborating on a project that can serve as a model for all island nations. We are exceptionally pleased that Masdar shares our vision for the greening of the Greek islands, setting a commendable example for sustainable development. Our country is committed to scaling up the GR-Eco Islands Initiative, with the objective to eventually implement it on all Greek Islands.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Masdar is proud to support our partners in Greece to advance the nation’s clean energy goals to preserve and protect Poros, a “GR-Eco Island” of outstanding natural beauty. With 17 years of experience in the clean energy sector and our expertise across renewable energy technologies, Masdar has initiated several projects in island nations across the globe and we are delighted to be playing our part in helping the Greek islands to become models of sustainability.”

Initiated by the Greek Government, “GR-Eco Islands” Initiative aims to transform Greece’s islands into models of sustainable development. The comprehensive strategy focuses on the decarbonisation of islands’ electricity production through the development of clean energy projects, as well as the implementation of pivotal infrastructure projects. This multifaceted approach not only enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors, but also safeguards marine and coastal ecosystems, ensuring the islands' long-term sustainability.

As the UAE’s clean energy champion and one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy companies, Masdar has been advancing the development and deployment of renewable energy and green hydrogen technologies to address global sustainability challenges. Established in 2006, Masdar has developed projects in more than 40 countries, helping them to achieve their clean energy objectives and advance sustainable development.