American automaker, Tesla, has signed contracts worth billions of dollars with nickel processing businesses in Indonesia to purchase ingredients for its batteries. Indonesia, which has significant nickel deposits, has been attempting to persuade Tesla to establish a manufacturing plant in the nation. According to the Coordinating Minister for Investment and Maritime Affairs of Indonesia, Tesla agreed to a five-year contract worth USD 5 billion with nickel processing companies. One of them is Zhejiang Huayou, a Chinese mining company that operates plants in Morowali, a regency on Indonesia’s nickel-rich Sulawesi island.
Indonesia is eager to build domestic electric car and battery businesses and has halted nickel ore exports to secure supplies for investors. The move has successfully drawn investments from Chinese steel conglomerates and South Korean firms, such as LG and Hyundai. However, most nickel investments have thus far been directed towards producing crude metals such as nickel, pig iron, and ferronickel. The government intends to levy an export tax on certain metals to increase income while promoting domestic manufacture of higher-value goods.
(Source: Business Times; Benar News)