JAKARTA – Indonesia is courting Tesla Inc to invest in the country, which has become a key player in the electric vehicle industrythanks to its rich nickel reserves.
In just three years, Indonesia has signed more than a dozen deals worth more than $15 billion for battery materials and electric vehicle production with global manufacturers including Hyundai, LG and Foxconn.
Here are some of the major investment deals involving nickel in Indonesia:
Jan. 2020: Indonesia bans exports of unprocessed nickel to attract investment in downstream processing.
Dec. 2020: BASF and Eramet sign a joint agreement to assess the development of a nickel and cobalt hydrometallurgical refining complex which include a High-Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) plant and a Base Metal Refinery (BMR), that will produce EV battery materials. A final investment decision may be made in 2023.
Dec. 2020: Indonesia’s investment ministry signs an MOU with LG Energy Solution on integrated EV battery investment with total investment of $9.8 billion.
Mar. 2021: Indonesia establishes the Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC), a joint venture of state owned enterprises to cooperate with foreign investors in developing an EV battery supply chain.
Sept 2021: South Korea’s LG Energy and Hyundai Motor Group start construction of a $1.1 billion battery cell plant to make batteries for EVs, the first stage of their $9.8 billion deal to develop integrated EV battery facilities.
Jan. 2022: Indonesia’s Investment Ministry signs an MoU with Foxconn, Gogoro Inc, IBC and Indika Energy for investment in electric vehicle and battery development.
Feb. 2022: A joint venture of Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, Tsingshan Holding Group and China Molybdenum Co makes the first shipment of nickel mixed hydroxide precipitate to China from Morowali, the biggest nickel processing hub on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.
March 2022: Hyundai launches a plant in Indonesia to produce battery-powered electric vehicles, its first in Southeast Asia.
April 2022: IBC and state mining company Aneka Tambang sign a framework agreement with China’s biggest battery manufacturer CATL Group, through its subsidiary Ningbo Contemporary Brunp Lygent Co (CBL), for partnership spanning from nickel mining and processing to EV battery manufacturing and battery recycling.
June 2022: South Korea’s LG Energy breaks ground on a $3.5 billion smelter with the capacity to produce 150,000 tonnes of nickel sulfate per year in Batang, Central Java. It will also build a $2.4 billion factory in the Batang park to produce 220,000 tonnes of precursor and 42,000 tonnes of cathode per year.
July 2022: Vale Indonesia and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt sign an agreement with U.S. carmaker Ford Motor to build a 120,000 tonnes mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) plant in Southeast Sulawesi.
Aug. 2022: Production of an electric vehicle, Wuling Air, is launched in Indonesia. It is being built by SGMW Motor Indonesia, part of a joint venture of SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, General Motors Co and Wuling Motors.
Sept 2022: Vale Indonesia signs an agreement with Zhejiang Huayou to build a second plant to produce nickel MHP with 60,000 tonnes capacity.
Nov 2022: Vale and Zhejiang Huayou start construction of their 120,000 tonnes MHP facility in Southeast Sulawesi.
Jan 2023: Indonesia’s Aneka Tambang and Hong Kong CBL Limited, a subsidiary of China’s CBL, sign a conditional share purchase agreement for partial ownership on Antams’s nickel mine in East Halmahera, North Maluku.