Collaborating with Chinese and Korean companies, the MIND ID consortium will build two battery factories

The Consortium of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) will work on two downstream nickel projects to become batteries.The state-owned company that will work on it is the mining holding MIND ID through PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (Antam), PT Pertamina (Persero) and PT PLN (Persero).

MIND ID Group CEO Orias Petrus Moedak explained, MIND ID and Antam will handle the upstream mining sector, then intermediate products to the downstream will be managed by Pertamina and PLN.Currently, the three BUMNs are preparing a scheme to form a holding company for PT Indonesia Batterie.

According to Orias, the Indonesian Batterai holding company will collaborate with partners and form a Joint Venture (JV).The consortium will undertake two downstream nickel to battery projects.

The project is planned to be integrated from upstream to downstream by fulfillingthe domestic industryvalue chain.

Currently, there are two potential partners who have been explored, namely companies from China and South Korea.Although he has not disclosed the identity of the company in question, Orias has revealed that the investment value from upstream to downstream for the two battery projects is around US $ 12 billion.

“From upstream to downstream, from mining to battery packs, for two prospective partner companies. Around US $ 12 billion, so some are US $ 5 billion, some are US $ 7 billion, depending on the size. Being discussed, it’s easy. I hope it can be achieved soon, “Orias explained in the nickel utilization webinar which was held on Tuesday (13/10).

Orias said that the source of funding for the two projects would be met through shareholder equity and from bank loans.He hopes that there are domestic banks willing to participate in funding the project.Because if not, then the funding will have to be covered from global loans.

“Do not let it develop (nickel into batteries), banking will not take sides, it will be difficult. In the future, whether you want to borrow from abroad, it will become another issue if you borrow too often abroad,” said Orias.

Meanwhile, the battery products of the two projects are primarily intended for electric vehicles (EV) and for storage of electrical energy (storage), especially in complementing the use of solar energy.

In his presentation, Orias explained that the EV cluster battery will be built in a nickel processing plant using the High-Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) and Rotary Kiln Electric Furnace (RKEF) methods.The factory construction is planned to be located in North Maluku or North Konawe, with an estimated investment of US $ 3 billion.

What is clear, Orias emphasizes that the development of nickel-based batteries must also be supported by domestic industries that absorb their downstream products.”We hope that what state-owned enterprises are doing to provide up to the battery, is also welcomed from the industrial side. This is big homework so that it doesn’t stop at the battery. Those who use batteries are also produced, for example, vehicles, domestic production,” he added.

If the industry is unable to absorb the products produced, then exports to foreign markets are inevitable.This condition indirectly provides subsidies for industrial development in other countries.

“The harsh language is that, if we produce something at a price that is not too expensive domestically, then buy it from foreign companies, it is tantamount to providing subsidies indirectly,” said Orias.

On the other hand, from the supply side of nickel as raw material, Orias revealed that currently, BUMN through MIND ID controls 30.4% of nickel reserves in Indonesia, which are owned by Antam and PT Vale Indonesia Tbk (INCO) whose 20% of its shares are officially registered. acquired by MIND ID.

Mastery of nickel resources is indeed a BUMN strategy to secure industrial raw materials.In the transaction to acquire 20% of INCO’s shares by MIND ID on October 7, 2020, BUMN Minister Erick Thohir said that by having the second-largest stake in INCO, MIND ID has strategic access to secure the supply of raw materials for Indonesia’s downstream nickel industry.Both for downstream the nickel industry into stainless steel, as well as into electric vehicle batteries.

Indonesia has been known as a producer and exporter of nickel, the main raw material for EV batteries, the world’s largest, which controls 27 percent of global market needs.

“This is also a good step to strengthen the value chain in Indonesia, as well as the development of the battery industry for electric cars as part of the energy system transformation process,” said Erick in a written statement, Wednesday (7/10).