Saudi Arabia has put on hold a $200 billion plan with SoftBank Group Corp. to build the world’s biggest solar-power-generation project, Saudi government officials said, in a complication for another eye-catching transformation project in the kingdom.
The stalled project marks a setback for a partnership between Saudi Arabia and SoftBank that has pursued ambitious ideas. Together, they have created a $100 billion fund for technology company investments that has resulted in a rush of new money flooding into startups.
The project would have turned the world’s most important oil producer into a giant in solar power, ultimately generating about 200 gigawatts of energy—more than three times what the country needs every day.
The plan was announced by SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in New York last March and was meant to be an extension of their partnership.
Now, officials and a Saudi government adviser said, no one is actively working on the project…
“Everyone is just hoping this whole idea would just die,” the Saudi energy official said.