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Italy Backs Olympic Solar Power Project
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Italy will help Beijing build a solar energy system for the city's Olympic Village, supplying hot water and electricity for the Games in 2008 and beyond.


Corrado Clini, a top official from the Italian Ministry for the Environment, said Italy will invest a total of 4 million euros (US$4.7 million) in this project.


The project is one of the cooperative projects included in a Memorandum of Understanding on Environmental Cooperation signed between the Italian ministry and Beijing's municipal government in 2002.


"This project will help Beijing fulfill its commitment to a Green Olympics," said Pei Chenghu, vice-director of Beijing's Environmental Protection Bureau.


The solar energy system will be jointly constructed by the Guoao Investment and Development Co Ltd of China, and Italy's Merloni TermoSanitari International Trading Co Ltd.


The system will supply hot water and electricity to 16,000 people during the Games. After the Olympics, the system will supply 2,000 apartments, housing around 6,000 people.


"Solar energy will not be the only energy source for the Olympic Village," Clini stressed. "We have prepared other energy supply systems."


Since 2002, Italy has invested nearly 40 million euros (US$47 million) in helping Beijing improve its environment in 17 projects.


(China Daily November 21, 2005)

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