VW subsidiary PowerCo to build EV ecosystem in Indonesia
Volkswagen wants to build an ecosystem for electric vehicle batteries in Indonesia together with partners through its subsidiary PowerCo. A partnership with several companies is apparently being sought, including Ford.
This is reported by Reuters with reference to statements by Indonesian Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia. PowerCo will cooperate with Ford, the mining company Vale and the battery material manufacturer Huayou Cobalt, among others. But also the French mining company Eramet and several Indonesian companies, such as Merdeka Gold Copper as well as its subsidiary Merdeka Battery and the energy supplier Kalla Group will be part of the cooperation, according to the investment minister.
Minister Bahlil is currently in Germany together with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, as the Hannover Messe 2023, which opened on Sunday evening. Indonesia is the partner country of the industrial fair this year. During the visit to Germany, the delegation also met with representatives from Volkswagen, Eramet and German chemical company BASF, according to Reuters.
According to a separate statement from Widodo’s office, the unspecified investment will be made by VW’s battery subsidiary PowerCo. Details are not yet known, however. In view of the local raw material deposits, a focus on nickel makes sense – also in view of the cooperation partners: Ford had announced investments in a nickel processing plant in Indonesia together with Vale and Huayou Cobalt at the end of March.
According to Investment Minister Bahlil, BASF is also said to have expressed interest in building a plant for the production of battery materials in the Indonesian province of North Maluku, as reported in January, this is to be done in cooperation with Eramet. However, it was already said at the time that the talks between Eramet and BASF were in the final stages – but no agreement has been communicated yet. BASF has also not yet responded to a Reuters request for comment.
Recently, there have been repeated concerns about safety standards in Indonesian mines. Since the country has the largest nickel reserves worldwide and also wants to profit from the downstream processing steps around the metal, President Widodo had already announced in March a stricter monitoring of safety and environmental standards. Minister Bahlil now also sees the investment interest of European companies as evidence that the concerns surrounding the mines would be allayed.