June 15, 2018
(AFP) - Japan's SoftBank is planning to invest between $60-100 billion in a solar power project in India, a Japanese report said Friday, as the firm looks to expand its interests into various sectors.
The report by public broadcaster NHK comes after SoftBank announced in March it would partner Saudi Arabia on a multi-billion dollar solar project that the company's founder called the largest in the world.
NHK said the massive investment in India would be funded jointly by SoftBank and Saudi Arabia, which have already partnered to create the Vision Fund investment vehicle.
A spokesman for SoftBank declined to comment on the report.
NHK said the deal would likely be announced by SoftBank and the Indian government after details were finalised, without giving a timeline.
Under CEO Masayoshi Son, SoftBank, which started as a software firm, has increasingly been seen as an investment firm, ploughing funds into a broad range of companies and projects outside its core business. In recent years it has completed deals with the likes of French robotics firm Aldebaran and e-commerce Chinese giant Alibaba.
In March, Son said it would fund the "largest solar project ever", in Saudi Arabia.
The project aims to generate 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030, with building beginning in 2018 and operations to start the following year.
The entire project is expected to cost $200 billion, with the first phase costing $5 billion.
SoftBank's $100-billion Vision Fund, created in 2016 with money from Saudi and other investors, will contribute $1 billion to the first phase.