Indonesia, the world’s leading nickel producer, is preparing to take a significant leap forward in its electric vehicle (EV) battery supply chain under the stewardship of President Joko Widodo. A cathode plant, the latest piece in this grand puzzle, is poised to solidify the nation’s ambitions.
As part of an enormous $9.8 billion investment, Indonesian state-owned company Aneka Tambang, the Indonesia Battery Corporation, and an LG Energy Solution-led consortium from South Korea, are spearheading the cathode plant’s construction.
The Investment Ministry’s Thursday statement (Aug 3) confirms these developments. Indonesia is strategically poised to leverage its abundant nickel reserves—an essential element in high-performance batteries—in its bid to establish a robust EV industry domestically. This venture signifies a critical stride towards increased self-sufficiency.
In recent times, Indonesia has witnessed a flurry of investments aimed at building nickel smelters and a cathode precursor facility. The establishment of a cathode plant would enable the nation to ascend the value chain further.
The cathode plant’s construction is anticipated to commence as early as this year, following successful negotiations regarding shareholding, as stated by LG Energy’s CEO Young Soo Kwon. The consortium is concurrently developing a nickel smelter, a cathode precursor factory, and a $1.1 billion battery cell factory, with production set to begin in April.
However, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia indicated that the plans encountered a setback following the issuance of the US Inflation Reduction Act, which disrupted the global supply chains for EV battery materials.
Article Source: The Star