Tesla to buy billions worth of nickel in Indonesia


Tesla has signed contracts worth around US$5 billion to buy materials for its batteries from nickel-processing companies in Indonesia, according to a senior Indonesian cabinet minister.

Tesla has signed five-year contracts with nickel processing companies operating out of Morowali on the island of Sulawesi, he said. The names of the companies and the quantities purchased are not known, according to a Reuters report.

“We are still in constant negotiation with Tesla … but they have started buying two excellent products from Indonesia,” Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said in an interview with CNBC Indonesia on Monday. Pandjaitan subsequently stated that Tesla had signed those same five-year contracts, but did not provide further details.

Tesla did not respond to a Reuters query about the interview statements.

Tesla is also reportedly considering a battery and electric car factory in Indonesia. There was a meeting between Elon Musk and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo back in May this year.

Indonesia has large nickel deposits and is striving to establish further processing of the material in its own country – via battery factories, but also vehicle plants for electric cars. In order to ensure the supply of its own developing industry, Indonesia had even temporarily stopped exporting nickel ore.

As a result, several Asian companies announced large investments and concrete e-mobility projects in Indonesia, including the Hyundai Motor Group and the battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution from South Korea as well as the Chinese industry giant CATL. In addition, Toyota is probably planning a factory for hybrid and electric cars.

At the beginning of August, Tesla had already signed new contracts for cobalt with two of its existing Chinese suppliers.


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