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China, Italy to cooperate on exploiting marine current power

Nov 8, 2006 Xinhua

Italy and China signed an agreement on Wednesday to exploit marine current to generate electricity, a move aimed at promoting renewable energy in China.

The agreement, which was signed by Elio Matacena, President of "Italian Bridge of Archimede Company," dubbed "Kobold", and professor Zhang Liang of China's Harbin Engineering University, entrusts the Chinese side to manufacture a sample machine of marine current power generator in China, utilizing the technology provided by the Italian side.

Harbin Engineering University will also contribute technological assistance to the project, which has won support from the United Nations Industrial and Development Organization (UNIDO) based in Vienna.

"For the first time anywhere in the world, Italians have managed to tap the national electricity grid into power generated by marine waves," said Matacena, founder of "Kobold" and designer of the first marine current power generator in the world.

At the end of last year, Matacena said, the successful experiment with the Kobold ( marine current power) was conducted in Italy's southern city Messina in Sicily, where the waves of the Strait proved to be capable of generating 40 kw of power.

The three-propeller turbine prototype, which was developed by the Italian company, is even more environmentally friendly as much of its own power comes from 39 solar panels.

"The marine currents in the Strait which in ancient times sowed terror among sailors today provide an inexhaustible source of energy," Matacena added.