Minister of Industry Inaugurates Groundbreaking of Nickel Smelter in Balikpapan

Minister of Industry Inaugurates Groundbreaking of Nickel Smelter in Balikpapan

The Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) is encouraging the downstreaming of nickel because it can increase added value up to 340 times, especially when it becomes a precursor to battery raw materials.

Minister of Industry Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said the added value from processing nickel ore into nickel matte is 14 times. If it becomes pure nickel, the raw material for batteries produces 19 times added value, and if it becomes a precursor it reaches 340 times.

He explained that the government is encouraging downstream nickel to build an electric vehicle ecosystem. In line with this, the Minister of Industry inaugurated the groundbreaking of the PT Mitra Murni Perkasa nickel smelter industry in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.

“Since President Joko Widodo’s leadership, he has continuously (tried) so that all added value remains in Indonesia,” he said in an official statement, Monday (11/9).

Agus hopes that the construction of the smelter industry within the framework of the downstream program can provide a variety of raw materials. Apart from that, in sufficient quantities, it can have a positive impact on the growth of other industrial sectors.

The Minister of Industry said that the metal industry has grown double digits in the last few years. In 2022, GDP in the basic metal industry sector will be worth IDR 124.29 trillion or grow 14.80% compared to 2021.

He said that currently, there are 38 nickel smelters operating under the guidance of the Ministry of Industry. The investment value reached USD 15.8 billion.

Of the 38 smelters, 35 of them are pyrometallurgy smelters. Meanwhile, the remainder is a hydrometallurgy smelter with the final product being MHP (Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate) which can be further processed into raw material for electric vehicle batteries.

Agus reported that his party had prepared a roadmap for the development of the battery-based electric motor vehicle industry (KBLBB). The government is targeting production of four-wheeled or more KBLBBs of 1 million units in 2035, and two- or three-wheeled KBLBBs to reach 12 million units in 2035.

“In accordance with this target, the projected demand for nickel as a raw material for batteries, especially the NMC 811 battery type (Nickel, Manganese, Cobalt) in supporting the EV (electric vehicle) development program, will continue to increase,” explained Agus.

The Ministry of Industry reported that PT Mitra Murni Perkasa (MMP is a nickel smelter that receives 100% Domestic Investment (PMDN). The nickel smelter’s production capacity is planned to be 27,000 MT of nickel matte per year and will be used as raw material for batteries. This nickel smelter is scheduled
commissioning in 2025.

“PT MMP will be the second nickel smelter in Indonesia to produce nickel matte. This proves that PMDN is also able to be present, building a very large nickel smelter industrial project, worth tens of trillions of rupiah, to support the national electric battery industry,” said Agus.

Image source >>> Ministry of Industry

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