PUBLIC INVESTMENT FUND TO PARTNER WITH SOFTBANK VISION FUND TO CREATE THE ‘SOLAR ENERGY PLAN 2030’
● ‘Solar Energy Plan 2030’ includes launching of the Kingdom’s first 3 GW solar generation capacity Solar and battery manufacturing ecosystems set to be established
Riyadh, 25 October 2017 - The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia and the SoftBank Vision Fund have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create the ‘Solar Energy Plan 2030’, a new framework for developing the Kingdom’s solar energy sector.
Signed during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) taking place in Riyadh this week, the new initiative includes launching the development of the Kingdom’s first 3 Gigawatt (GW) solar generation capacity in Saudi Arabia in 2018.
This will take place through Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), which is 74.3 per cent owned by PIF. As part of the agreement, the parties will also explore the SoftBank Vision Fund taking a significant, minority equity stake in SEC. Furthermore, PIF and the SoftBank Vision Fund will identify opportunities to establish solar and battery manufacturing ecosystems in the Kingdom, helping to support sector diversification and high-tech job creation activities.
The development of the Saudi Arabia’s solar energy sector is a core objective of Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s blueprint for a modern and diverisified economy. Saudi Arabia is targeting 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2023, to be achieved through projects designed to localize the renewable energy value chain.
In May 2017, The SoftBank Vision Fund announced its first major close with over US$93 billion of committed capital. In addition to SoftBank Group Corp and PIF, investors in the SoftBank Vision Fund also include the Mubadala Investment Company of the United Arab Emirates, Apple Inc., Foxconn Technology Group, Qualcomm Incorporated and Sharp Corporation.
Separate to the SoftBank Vision Fund, PIF and SoftBank Group Corp. are also launching a world-leading joint research project to explore how robotic systems can be better incorporated into the daily activities and tasks of the government sector, business and society.
Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. said: “Rapid technology advancement and scale have transformed solar power into an attractive source of electricity. As the Kingdom is blessed with limitless sunshine, we are very excited to work together with PIF to build a world-leading solar plant, develop an advanced solar and battery manufacturing ecosystem, and bring high tech jobs to the Kingdom.”
Organized by PIF, the FII is taking place from 24th to 26th October 2017 in Riyadh. The invitation-only event brings together internationally-renowned business and investment leaders to explore the new trends, opportunities and challenges that will shape the world economy and investment environment over the coming decades.