• SoftBank is reportedly planning to set up a 1.8 GW solar power plant in Saudi Arabia, according to Bloomberg
  • It says the $1.2 billion plant may be set up as a pilot project for more such projects to be launched in the country
  • SoftBank is in talks with developers and banks to gauge interest in the project
  • Final outcome could also result into changing the size of the project or cancelling it altogether, according to Bloomberg’s sources

Masayoshi Son headed SoftBank Group Corp., is planning a 1.8 GW solar power plant in Saudi Arabia for an investment worth $1.2 billion. The group has started preliminary talks with banks and developers to gauge interest in the facility, according to a Bloomberg report.

Without sharing much details, unidentified sources told Bloomberg that plans for the PV facility are at an early stage and that the company may change its size or choose to not go ahead with it at all. But, if it does materialize, it would be a pilot project for the country’s wider plans to build more solar power facilities.

Continuous involvement of Son led SoftBank Group raises eyebrows as the country has been in the eye of storm after it confirmed the assassination of Saudi Arabian journalist and a critic of the government and its royalty, Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, 2018. Several prominent business heads and media sponsors opted to stay away from Saudi government’s second edition of the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh in October 2018, following Khashoggi’s murder.

While Son himself cancelled his visit to the conference, his $100 billion Vision Fund has Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund as the largest investor, and among other projects, the two are working on a massive 200 GW solar power project. While several analysts doubt if this is will happen, Saudi Arabia said the project is still on (see Saudi Arabia Says 200 GW PV Project Very Much On). Media reports suggest the two are planning to launch another fund. In a call with analysts to release the company’s financial results on November 5, 2018, Son decried the killing of Khashoggi but still honored his company’s association with Saudi Arabia.