The government through the Ministry of Investment plans to close exports of nickel processed products by 30% to 40% in order to encourage the downstream nickel chain. In response to this plan, the Indonesian Nickel Miners Association (APNI) views this policy as a positive step because it can encourage investors to invest in Indonesia. Later, investors can set up an industry that produces finished products in Indonesia.
APNI Secretary General Meidy Katrin Lengkey said the same thing happened when the government closed the nickel ore export faucet in early 2020. As a final result, a number of investors have invested in building a processing plant in Indonesia. However, Meidy ensured that this policy plan was not without concerns from business actors. APNI itself highlights a number of things that are considered worthy of the government’s attention in preparing this export policy.
“We are ready or not, then there are factories (processing) that are planned to be ready to stand,” explained Meidy to Kontan, Tuesday (21/9). Meidy explained that until 2025, it is targeted that there will be 98 factories that will be established. Currently 31 factories have been completed while around 40 factories are in the construction stage and the rest are in the licensing process. If then the export ban policy for processed products of 30% to 40% is carried out, it is feared that it will affect the current
Meidy continued, the government must ensure market readiness to absorb existing products. If then all export supplies are diverted for domestic needs, there needs to be certainty that a market is ready to absorb it. Moreover, in the current condition, it is still in an over- supply position .
In addition to these points of consideration, APNI also considers that there is a need to improve nickel trade governance and guarantee good pravtive mining in the future. This is also to ensure the availability of nickel reserves in Indonesia. For this reason, APNI considers it necessary to pay attention to improving regulations and policies for the nickel industry from upstream to downstream.
“It is also necessary to build a directed, integrated ecosystem from upstream to downstream industries related to regulators, namely the government and also consumers, namely the downstream industry. This is one unit,” explained Meidy. Meanwhile, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of PT Vale Indonesia Tbk ( INCO ) Bernardus Irmanto ensured that Vale’s nickel processed products are nickel matte with a nickel content of 78% or above the 70% content limit. “The possibility of the discourse on the export ban is to encourage the growth of downstream nickel products in Indonesia, especially for NPI/FeNi products with nickel content below 40%,” Bernardus explained to Kontan, Tuesday (21/9).
However, Bernardus said that this plan needs to be studied properly by considering input from industry players. Previously, the plan to ban the export of processed nickel products by 30-40 percent was disclosed by the Minister of Investment/Head of BKPM, Bahlil Lahadalia on Friday (17/9). Bahlil said that later the export of nickel processed products that would be allowed would be a minimum of 70 percent. “In the future, we think that nickel raw materials are no longer allowed to export goods, which are only 30-40 percent new. If that’s the case, the reserves run out. At least 70 percent,” said Bahlil. Bahlil continued, this policy also aims to provide added value for Indonesia.