The Indonesian government has signalled its intention to move into domestic manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.
Indonesian state miners Mining Industry Indonesia (MIND ID) and Aneka Tambang (ANTAM) along with state utility Perusahan Listrik Negara (PLN) and state oil company Pertamina have formed a new joint venture: Indonesia Battery Holding.
Indonesia Battery intends to be involved in the entire battery production processes from the production of battery minerals to the manufacturing of cells and end-of-life battery recycling. The company is in talks with CATL and LG Chem to invest in the region of $12 billion to develop the supply chain.
Indonesia produces more nickel than any other country at 800,000MT with 21 million MT in reserves. The government banned all nickel ore exports as of 1 January 2020 forcing the miners to process the ore domestically.
The country will focus on developing lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) and lithium cobalt nickel aluminium oxide (NCA) batteries— two of the main chemistries used in EVs due to their high energy density.
The goal of the state-owned-enterprises (SOE) is to develop an end-to-end domestic supply chain for EV batteries as part of enabling the country to develop its own EV industry. The batteries will also be used in the development of the energy storage industry as the country has committed to green energy.
Indonesia’s battery demand is forecast to grow to 5.9GWh in 2027. The holding company aims to produce 8-10GWh per annum, starting in two to three years from now, said MIND ID president director Orias Petrus Moedak during an online briefing.
MIND ID has plans to build a $3 billion integrated nickel smelter featuring a high-pressure acid leaching facility that produces 50 kilotons of high purity battery-grade nickel each year. The company is also looking at ways to secure refined cobalt and manganese as Indonesia has reserves of both metals. The one metal they don’t have is lithium.