Contributing USD 7 Billion Exports, The Nickel Smelter Industry Becomes Indonesia’s Mainstay

The government continues to encourage the increase in the added value of mineral raw materials in the country.This downstream policy is believed to be able to make a significant contribution to the national economy, including through the achievement ofexportvalue.

“Therefore, the important role of the smelter industry. So, we no longer just export ‘land and water’, but have become ahigh-end product, “said the Director General of Resilience, Territoriality and International Industrial Access (KPAII) of the Ministry of Industry, Dody Widodo in a written statement, Friday, August 7. 2020.

Dody explained, in an effort to spur the competitiveness of the base metal industry, the government has issued Law No. 3 of 2020 concerning Amendments to Law No. 4 of 2009 concerning Mineral and Coal Mining, which mandates increasing added value through processing mineral resources.

“So that the exported products have added value which is much higher than the export of mineral products from mining products,” he said.

In addition, the government has also issued Law No. 3 of 2014 concerning Industry which was derived in the formation of implementing regulations in the form of Draft Government Regulations (RPP) on Natural Resources.

The implementation of these regulations, among others, regulates the efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable use of natural resources. Then, emphasize the prohibition or restriction of natural resource exports in the context of increasing industrial added value in order to deepen and strengthen the structure of domestic industries, as well as guarantee the availability and distribution of natural resources for domestic industries.

“Today, the nickel smelter industry that produces NPI, ferronickel, nickel hydrate and stainless steel has grown rapidly. Until now, around 19 smelters have been operating in East Java, Banten, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi and North Maluku, “said Dody.

In fact, there are already those in the process of constructing a nickel smelter that processes low grade nickel into battery raw materials, located in Central Sulawesi, North Maluku and Banten.

Based on BPS data, Dpdy said that in 2018 and 2019, the export value of nickel-based metal industrial products reached US $ 4.8 billion and US $ 7.08 billion, respectively, an increase of 47.5 percent. The large contribution of the nickel smelter industry, continued Dody, needs to be encouraged for the development of its downstream products.

“It is hoped that the nickel smelter will not only export in the form of NPI and battery raw materials, but in the form of downstream products such as downstream products made of stainless steel and electric batteries,” he said.