South Korea pledges further e-mobility investment in Indonesia

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The governments of South Korea and Indonesia have agreed to continue joint investments in electric vehicle and battery production in Indonesia. Moreover, they want to strengthen the supply chain for battery materials such as nickel.

That is according to a statement by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. However, concrete sums are not mentioned in the document. The commitment to further invest in developing an e-mobility and battery industry in Indonesia is only one of several agreed measures to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries.

In addition to EV and battery production and the supply chain for battery materials, the governments of South Korea and Indonesia specifically want to address the promising market for electric two-wheelers in Indonesia. Against this backdrop, both countries have agreed to expand the scope of cooperation to include investment in battery recycling and establishing a plant to produce electric drives for two-wheelers.

In their opening speeches at a delegation meeting in Seoul, both heads of the delegations noted the importance of the countries’ half-century economic partnership in the Indo-Pacific region, and each stressed that it was time to tackle new measures in supply chains and climate change mitigation.

Indonesia is known to have the largest nickel reserves in the world and banned the export of unprocessed nickel ore in 2020 to create its own industry. Among others, BASF and the French mining company Eramet are flirting with Indonesian nickel deposits, as are SK On, CATL and LG.

International carmakers themselves are also becoming active in Indonesia: Ford, for example, announced in spring that it would invest in a nickel processing plant in Pomalaa in Southeast Sulawesi, where Vale operates a nickel mine, together with the mining company PT Vale Indonesia and the Chinese company Huayou Cobalt. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group is preparing to build a battery factory for electric cars locally through its battery subsidiary PowerCo. As local media recently reported citing Ikmal Lukma, secretary of the Indonesian Ministry of Investment, Volkswagen wants to invest around 4.7 billion euros in the planned factory.


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