Indonesia awaits green nod to mine nickel for EV batteries

Indonesia wants to become a global hub for producing and exporting electric vehicles to Asia and beyond, starting by processing its rich supplies of nickel ore into battery chemicals before it starts building EVs.
By :
| Updated on: 19 Nov 2019, 11:47 AM
FILE PHOTO: Trucks carry raw nickel ore near Sorowako, Indonesia's Sulawesi island
FILE PHOTO: Trucks carry raw nickel ore near Sorowako, Indonesia's Sulawesi island
FILE PHOTO: Trucks carry raw nickel ore near Sorowako, Indonesia's Sulawesi island
FILE PHOTO: Trucks carry raw nickel ore near Sorowako, Indonesia's Sulawesi island

JAKARTA, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Indonesia's coordinating minister who oversees mining said on Monday he hoped environmental impact studies for factories to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals would be completed by the end of the year.

The studies, known as AMDAL, need to be completed and approved by the environment ministry before investors can proceed, such as China's stainless steel giant Tsingshan Group which aims to build a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant.

Similar Cars

Find More Cars
Hyundai Kona Electric (HT Auto photo)
Hyundai Kona Electric
cc | Electric | Automatic
₹23.79Lakhs*Onwards
Tata Tigor Ev (HT Auto photo)
Tata Tigor Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹11.99Lakhs*Onwards
Tata Altroz Ev (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
Tata Altroz Ev
₹ 12 to 15 Lakhs Expected Price*
Tata Nexon Ev (HT Auto photo)
Tata Nexon Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹13.99Lakhs*Onwards
Mg Zs Ev (HT Auto photo)
Mg Zs Ev
Electric | Automatic
₹21Lakhs*Onwards

Asked whether the AMDAL would be issued before the end of 2019, the minister Luhut Pandjaitan said: "We hope so."

He said investment plans for plants producing chemicals from nickel laterite were worth $3.2 billion, including the plant planned by Tsingshan and another planned by Indonesia's Harita Group.

Pandjaitan added that some of the AMDAL studies had been carried out for around a year, but none have been approved so far.

The government was revising a rule on managing waste from HPAL plants, Pandjaitan said, saying that the aim was to have this finalised within a month.

Chinese battery firm GEM Co Ltd, one of Tsingshan's partners, expects to start trial production at its nickel and cobalt HPAL plant in Morowali in August 2020, the company's president said earlier this month.

Indonesia wants to become a global hub for producing and exporting electric vehicles (EVs) to Asia and beyond, starting by processing its rich supplies of nickel ore into battery chemicals before it starts building EVs.

The country will stop exporting nickel ore from January 2020, two years earlier than originally planned, in order to handle processing at home.

Pandjaitan said the government would also issue a new rule to allow the import of used lithium battery components to be recycled into a new batteries in Indonesia.

Indonesian law does not allow imports of used lithium batteries, but he said the new rule would allow imports of extracted chemical components from the used batteries.

He said the extracted chemicals could help reduce the use of nickel ores.

"That way we could be more sustainable," he said, adding that Indonesia wants companies to start investing in lithium battery recycling.

(Reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Edmund Blair and Christian Schmollinger)

First Published Date: 19 Nov 2019, 11:13 AM IST
Recommended For You
View All
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking VIEW OFFERS you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city