Ready to accommodate Freeport smelter, IWIP is building a battery raw material industry in Weda Bay

PT Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) is preparing to develop the battery raw material industry.After becoming a nickel-based metal industrial area, IWIP, which was also built by the Tsingshan Group, is ready to accommodate the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) copper smelter.

Agnes Ide Megawati, Associate Director Media & Public Relations of the IWIP Department agrees that currently Tsingshan is in discussion with PTFI to discuss the possibility of building a copper smelter in the Weda Bay industrial area, Central Halmahera, North Maluku.

Agnes claims that IWIP has a number of advantages, making it suitable for the construction of a PTFI copper smelter.In terms of location, PTFI’s mine in Papua will be closer to supplying concentrate as raw material for smelters.

In addition, IWIP also already has ready facilities to support industrial activities, starting from a Steam Power Plant (PLTU), transportation infrastructure to ports.

“The location from the Freeport mine to Weda Bay is closer. Then we also have supporting facilities, such as a PLTU, port, airport there. So it is more efficient, there is no need to (build) from 0,” said Agnes, Saturday (3 / 4).

However, Agnes has not revealed the extent of the negotiation process between Tsingshan and PTFI.To be sure, the discussion is still ongoing.As a result, he has not been able to reveal the preparations currently being carried out by IWIP or the size of the area being prepared for the PTFI copper smelter.

It’s just that, if later PTFI partners with Tsingshan to build a copper smelter at IWIP, Agnes also ensures that the completion of the project can be completed on schedule, namely in December 2023. Agnes gave an example during the construction of the Weda Bay Nickel smelter which only took one year of preparation. factory in 2018, then it can operate in 2019.

“All the facilities are already there, just live there, the factory construction process is there. If yesterday we prepared the Weda Bay Nickel factory, PLTU and others, 2019 ore (nickel ore) has started to be processed in the area, quite quickly,” said Agnes. .

Just so you know, IWIP is a metal-based industrial area which is a joint venture of Chinese investors.Namely Tsingshan, Huayou, and Zhenshi.According to Agnes, currently IWIP is only entering the first phase, in which the product produced is still processed nickel in the form of ferronickel.

“(IWIP ferronickel products) are not only exported to China, but also to Korea and Europe,” said Agnes, without detailing the portion of IWIP ferronickel supplied to the export market.

He added that currently the industrial area, which has an area of ​​around 4,200 hectares, has three tenants.First, PT Weda Bay Nickel (WBN).Citing the IWIP official website, WBN has a nickel processing plant with a capacity of 30,000 tonnes of Ni per year.

Second, PT Yashi Indonesia Investment, which is estimated to have a ferronickel factory with a production capacity of up to 300,000 tons per year.Third, PT Youshan Nickel Indonesia, which will later produce nickel sulphate with a capacity of 130,000 mtpa.Youshan Nickel will also build a 250 MW power plant and a port with a capacity of 50,000 mt.

After three years of existence since 2018, IWIP is still in its first phase which is supported by ferronickel production.The plan, expansion for the second phase will begin at the end of this year.The second phase will still process nickel derivative products, such as nickel matte as the main ingredient for the precursor battery.

For the third and subsequent phases, IWIP targets to establish an industrial area that produces battery components, especially for electric vehicles (EV Battery).”The higher the phase, the products can also be manufactured. IWIP plans in the future, in a further phase, it will produce raw materials for precursor components. EV batteries have a long supply chain,” added Agnes.