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Japanese to build the world's largest solar power plant in Saudi Arabia

29 March, 2018, 01:19 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • SoftBank Vision Fund Saudi Arabia to create world's biggest solar power firm

Speaking at the launch in New York, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said the project will help Saudi Arabia to get rid off its dependence on oil for electricity and create 100,000 job opportunities. The project itself is expected to cost $100 billion with the capability to produce 200 gigawatts of renewable energy.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described the oil-rich nation's "bold, risky" move into renewable power as a "huge step in human history".

The Saudi investment is Softbank's second major global solar project. "The Kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land, and great engineers". The fund has already invested in companies in the U.S., India and Europe.

In light of this new agreement, a new solar company will be established to start-up two solar plants with a capacity to generate 3 gigawatts and 4.2 gigawatts. Electricity demand in the country has risen by as much as 9 per cent a year since 2000, according to BNEF.


SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son told reporters that the solar push is "by far the largest solar power project ever".

Included in that would be training facilities, and a complete research and development center in order that new technology can continue to evolve. It is also expected to save the kingdom $40 billion by obviating the need to burn domestically produced oil to generate power. The 32-year-old king-in-waiting and a Saudi delegation are cementing ties with the Trump administration and lining up American investors as the kingdom embarks upon an ambitious plan to diversify its economy.

Softbank has also raised over $93 billion for the Vision Fund, the world's largest private equity fund with backers including Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, Apple and Foxconn.

To start $5 billion will be used as the initial investment, of which the Japan-based SoftBank fund will give $1 billion.

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