Saudi Public Investment Fund refutes WSJ report claiming $200bn solar project halted

KSA, SoftBank to establish the largest solar power plant in the world with enough capacity to power 140 million homes. (Shutterstock)
Updated 02 October 2018
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Saudi Public Investment Fund refutes WSJ report claiming $200bn solar project halted

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has described as “inaccurate” a report claiming the Kingdom has stopped a plan to build the world’s biggest solar-power-generation project.
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the $200 billion project with SoftBank was placed on hold by the Kingdom.
“The Public Investment Fund 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, which will be announced in due course,” a fund spokesperson was reported as saying in the Saudi Press Agency.
“The announcement in March 2018 clearly stated that this includes solar generation projects and joint plans to develop large-scale solar panels manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia for solar power generation. This will be complemented by R&D and training components. These plans to develop a leading champion for the industry remain on-track and in-line with the timeline that would be anticipated for projects of this scale and ambition” the spokesperson added.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the PIF chairman, and Masayoshi Son, chairman of SoftBank, inked an agreement earlier this year to establish the largest solar power plant in the world with enough capacity to power 140 million homes.


Saudi royal decree guarantees allowances to cover cost of living for new fiscal year

Updated 18 December 2018
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Saudi royal decree guarantees allowances to cover cost of living for new fiscal year

A royal decree by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered the continuation of allowances covering the cost of living for civil sector employees for the new fiscal year on Tuesday.

The decree states that 1,000 Saudi riyals ($266) would be given to citizens on a monthly basis.  This will continue for one year until the study of the social protection system is completed.

Saudi Arabia also announced plans to increase state spending by more than seven percent next year in an effort to spur economic growth, which has been hurt by low oil prices, according to a 2019 budget released by the finance ministry.