Indonesian officials to meet Tesla this week on EV battery plant investment; environment a big topic – paultan.org

Indonesian officials to meet Tesla this week on EV battery plant investment; environment a big topic – paultan.org

11/16/2020

Here’s an update on the potential Tesla battery factory in Indonesia. The republic’s president Joko Widodo has said he will send a high-level team to meet with top executives of electric vehicle specialist Tesla this week, Reuters reports. This comes as the ASEAN’s largest country aims to be the world’s biggest producer of EV batteries.

Popularly known as Jokowi, the president told the newswire in an interview last Friday that the trip to the US will be part of Indonesia’s promotion of its new “Omnibus” Job Creation law, which aims to simplify doing business in Indonesia.

“Next week we will send a large team to America and Japan, to promote the Omnibus,” Jokowi said. “It’s very important because we have a great plan to make Indonesia the biggest producer of lithium batteries and we have the biggest nickel (reserves),” he added. The trip comes after RI’s leader congratulated US president-elect Joe Biden on his election win. Jokowi said he hoped a Biden administration would promote “stability and world peace”.

Indonesia’s team will be led by coordinating minister of maritime affairs and investment Luhut Pandjaitan. In a separate interview, Luhut said he would also hold meetings with the World Bank and American fund managers to talk about the Omnibus law and Indonesia’s environmental projects.

Luhut declined to comment specifically on the planned meeting with Tesla, but said that “there is a really good chance” that companies will want to invest in Indonesian nickel processing to reduce costs. He added that Indonesia could make the supply chain of batteries environmentally friendly in seven to eight years by powering smelters with renewable energy sources, so they could sell green batteries for cars in the European market by 2030.

Tesla boss Elon Musk was previously quoted as saying that he is planning to offer a “giant contract for a long period of time” so long as the nickel is mined “efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way”.

Our ASEAN neighbour is a major producer of nickel, which is a key component in EV batteries. It has been reported that Indonesia is seeking to develop a full supply chain for nickel at home, especially for extracting battery chemicals, making batteries and eventually building EVs. This is opposed to merely exporting nickel ore to other countries, an activity that has been stopped.

The republic said in September that it had secured a deal for lithium battery plant by South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL).

More on Tesla’s latest battery tech here, including the tabless 4680 battery cell design.

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