Indonesia’s investment minister, Bahlil Lahadalia, is confident that Tesla will make investments in the country. According to media reports, Elon Musk has agreed to build a plant in Central Java province after meeting with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo.
While a concrete agreement has not yet been signed, the investment minister hinted that the project could begin this year. No details were disclosed about the amount of potential investment.
Musk and Widodo met during a visit by the Indonesian president to the SpaceX Starbase in the US state of Texas. There they reportedly discussed the investments, but also technology and innovation in general. After the meeting, the president reportedly instructed the coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investments, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, to follow up on the discussion of the meeting. Musk had agreed to communicate intensively with the Indonesian team, Lahadalia said. He expects an agreement to be reached soon, he said.
“The team is negotiating, but rest assured that the president has a special move to woo Elon Musk,” Lahadalia said later, according to the Jakarta Globe. “We are discussing how much the investment is worth and when to start. We just have to wait for the right time.”
Indonesia is one of the most important nickel producers (about a quarter of the global deposits are located there) and wants to build up a processing industry based on this – with batteries and electric cars. In recent years, international manufacturers have been lured to the country again and again.
For example, according to media reports, a Korean consortium led by LG has signed an agreement with Indonesian state-owned companies for a project worth around nine billion US dollars. The project reportedly aims to build a complete value chain for electric vehicle batteries.
A similar partnership had already been concluded shortly before by the Chinese battery cell manufacturer CATL. In the course of this, CATL wants to invest the equivalent of almost 5.5 billion euros in the country. The project focuses on nickel mining and processing, battery materials, battery production and battery recycling.
In September last year, Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution laid the foundation stone for their battery cell factory in Indonesia, which was announced at the end of July. The plant in Karawang near the capital Jakarta is scheduled to start production in the first half of 2024 with an annual capacity of 10 GWh.
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