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Economy

Saudis reportedly pull plug on solar farm project with SoftBank

Both sides say they continue to cooperate on solar energy endeavors

TOKYO -- Saudi Arabia has shelved a $200 billion plan to build the world's largest solar farm with Japan's SoftBank Group, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, though both sides subsequently issued carefully worded denials.

The power plant was expected to generate up to 200 gigawatts by 2030, more than the kingdom's current capacity from all energy sources. SoftBank announced its plan to invest in the project in March.

Part of the investment was to come from the SoftBank Vision Fund, a $100 billion fund in which Riyadh is a major investor.

The kingdom reportedly has an alternative strategy to boost renewable energy, which is to be announced in late October.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund released a statement on Tuesday saying the report is "inaccurate" and it "continues to work with the SoftBank Vision Fund, and other parties, on a number of large-scale, multibillion dollar projects relating to the solar industry."

A SoftBank spokesperson also said progress "to deliver on the New Solar Energy Plan 2030" is "in line with expectations." The company plans to make an announcement about that progress "in the coming months."

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