Tesla Looking to Build Car Battery Plant in Indonesia

Feb 2021

It has been reported that the government of Indonesia has received an investment proposal from Tesla for a potential car battery plant and energy storage system. Tesla considers Indonesia to be one of its priority investment destinations, considering that the country is the world’s largest nickel producer. Since 2020, Indonesia has stopped exporting nickel in an effort to build a full nickel supply chain, requiring companies to process nickel into finished products.

Other players such as CATL, LG Chem and Freeport Indonesia are also interested in participating in the development of the country’s battery ecosystem.

  • China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) plans to invest USD 5 billion in a lithium battery plant in Indonesia
  • LG Chem has secured a piece of land in the government-sponsored Batang Industrial Complex in Central Java
  • Freeport is in discussions with Chinese steelmaker Tsingshan Steel to make a copper smelter in Weda Bay, an industrial complex for nickel processing in Halmahera, North Maluku.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Ministry of State Owned Enterprises is creating a holding company that will chart the development of the battery industry for electric vehicles. It comprises PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium, PT Aneka Tambang, PT Pertamina and PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN). The upstream process from mining, smelting, and processing of raw materials will be handled by PT Indonesia Asahan Aluminium and PT Aneka Tambang. PT Pertamina and PT PLN will be tasked to manufacture precursors, cathodes, battery cells and battery packs as part of the downstream ecosystem.

The electric vehicle battery industry is projected to add USD 25 billion to the national economy by 2027.

(Sources: Jakarta Globe; Teslarati; The Star)