Softbank says it is working with Saudi PIF on solar power project

FILE PHOTO: People walk behind the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank said on Tuesday it is working closely with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund on a solar power-generation project, dismissing a Wall Street Journal report that it had shelved the $200 billion project with the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

“Progress continues to be in line with expectations for a project of this scale and complexity,” a SoftBank spokesman said in a written statement.

Softbank said its team has for months been working closely with the PIF and key government agencies to deliver on the New Solar Energy Plan 2030 “to transform the future of renewable energy production in the kingdom.”

Softbank’s statement came after a spokesman for the PIF said in an email it 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.

The projects will be announced in due course, the PIF said.

SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son had announced in March a plan to invest in creating the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, a project expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.

Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; writing by Katie Paul; Editing by Adrian Croft