A spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) said via the Kingdom’s state-run news agency, the Saudi Press Agency, that media articles claiming that work has been shelved with respect to SoftBank and Solar Projects are “completely inaccurate.”
The unnamed spokesperson said that the PIF “continues to work with the SoftBank Vision Fund, and other parties, on a number of large-scale, multi-billion dollar projects relating to the solar industry, which will be announced in due course. The announcement in March 2018 clearly stated that this includes solar generation projects and joint plans to develop large-scale solar panels manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia for solar power generation. This will be complimented by R&D and training components.”
The PIF spokesperson is referring to a recent Wall Street Journal report that claims Saudi Arabia has “shelved” plans to build a solar park worth $200bn (SAR750bn) with Japan’s Softbank “in favor of a broader renewable energy strategy.” The report claimed that “no one is actively working on the project,” with the kingdom instead focused on devising a “broader, more practical” strategy to boost renewable energy.
The Kingdom is “moving forward with the overall renewable energy strategy, through which Saudi Arabia aims to be a leading and reliable diversified supplier of renewable energy,” the PIF spokesperson said. “In line with Vision 2030, the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources is undertaking a program in coordination with the Kingdom’s stakeholders to transform the power sector, and ensure it is more competitive, efficient and sustainable, underpinned by a strong pipeline for private sector participation.”