South Korean Giant Starts Nickel Processing Plants in Indonesia

July 2022

South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (LGES) just announced that it began construction of a nickel processing plant in Indonesia as part of a USD 9.8 billion investment in the country to produce electric vehicle batteries.

LGES revealed that the company would build a USD 3.5 billion smelter with a capacity to produce 150,000 tonnes of nickel sulfate per year. A USD 2.4 billion factory will also be built to produce 220,000 tonnes of precursors and 42,000 tonnes of cathodes per year. It will provide key raw materials for a planned 200 gigawatt-hour battery cell plant in the industrial city of Karawang in West Java, worth USD 3.6 billion.

In addition, in September 2020 LGES and Indonesian state mining company Aneka Tambang (Antam) will to jointly invest in a USD 300 million nickel mine on the eastern island of Halmahera to produce 16 million tonnes of nickel ore.

With the world’s largest nickel reserves, Indonesia has ambitions to become a major producer of nickel-based products, Jokowi said at the launch. Indonesia ended nickel ore exports in 2020 in an effort to attract foreign investment to develop its downstream industry. Indonesia´s president recently announced that the country will replicate this strategy for other natural resources, including stopping bauxite and tin exports that abuse guidelines.

(Source: Channel News Asia)

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