PT Vale Indonesia (PT Vale) and Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Company (Huayou) are planning to collaborate to develop a smelter with High-Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) technology in Sulawesi island, Indonesia. The agreement for the same was signed by the two parties on September 13, 2022, after Huayou conducted a feasibility test which had a positive outcome.
The new HPAL plant will have a planned annual production capacity of around 60,000 tonnes of nickel in Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) and will process nickel limonite ore into MHP product. It can then be processed into materials for battery components, such as for electric vehicles.
One of the most important points of this collaboration is the commitment of the parties to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and the agreement to work together to minimize carbon emissions. Huayou will further discuss with PT Vale to study low-carbon energy alternatives.
Earlier in September, PT Vale also signed a USD 2.1 billion investment agreement with China’s Shandong Xinhai Technology and a unit of China Baowu Steel Group to develop a processing plant on Sulawesi island.
According to Vale’s chief finance officer Bernardus Irmanto, the companies will form a joint venture firm, with Vale controlling 49 percent of the stake. Shandong Xinhai and Baowu, through its subsidiary Taiyuan Iron & Steel (TISCO), would together control 51 percent. This plant would be the first nickel plant in Indonesia to be powered with liquefied natural gas.
(Sources: Vale Press Release; The Business Times)