Li Keqiang, the top official tipped as China’s next Prime Minister, has begun a four-day visit to the UK with the announcement of a £6.4m licensing deal between Scottish and Sino-Scottish companies on clean energy development.
Waste-to-energy technology developed by Scottish company W2E Engineering will be licensed to Sino-Scottish firm Shanghai Huanan Boiler and Vessel Cochran (SHBV Cochran) under the agreement.
Research and development, engineering and project management will take place at W2E’s existing plant at Annan in Dumfriesshire, while manufacturing will happen at the company’s new facility in China.
W2E, which specialises in generating electricity from domestic refuse by gasification, said it plans to provide SHBV Cochran with a minimum $60m of business per year for the next ten years.
While in Scotland, Li was also treated to a demonstration of a wave power device developed by local ocean power company Pelamis Wave Power.
‘China is committed to work with other countries for a solution to the global challenge of energy and resources,’ Li wrote in an article for the Financial Times, published to coincide with his visit to the UK.
‘In the coming five years, China will vigorously develop the green economy and low-carbon technologies to bring down significantly energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product.’
Li, who brought with him a 150-strong delegation, also met UK Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss commercial links between the two countries.
As Vice Premier, Li is expected to succeed Wen Jiabao as Prime Minister of China when the latter steps down, which is anticipated to happen in 2012.
Among other gestures of goodwill, China also agreed to send two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yangguang, to Edinburgh Zoo. The pair will be the first pandas to live in the UK since London’s Ming Ming returned to China in 1994.
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