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Weda Bay to build electric car battery plant in Halmahera

Map of Weda Bay Nickel Project (source: Special)

JAKARTA (RambuEnergy.com) – The development of electric car industry must be hand-in-hand with the development of lithium battery. Therefore, the government encourage investors, both local and overseas, to invest in lithium battery plant in the country.

One company that has grabbed this opportunity is PT Weda Bay Nickel (WBN), a French mining company, which is currently developing an integrated nickel project, including smelter to produce stainless steel, carbon steel, as well as lithium battery for electric cars in Central Halmahera, Maluku.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan said that the groundbreaking of the project is scheduled for August 30 or end of this month.

The industrial area, he said, would be lager than the Morowali industrial area in Sulawesi.

The electric car battery will be developed jointly by Weda Bay and its partner from China, with estimated investment of US$10 billion.

Meanwhile, the government expects auto companies will develop electric cars in the country. The plant could be in Bekasi, Karawang or Purwakarta in West Java, he said.

The development of electric car is part of the government’s drive to develop low carbon emission vehicle (LCEV). Director General for Metal, Machine, Transportation equipment and electronics at the Industry Ministry Harjanto said Indonesia needs battery producers to support the electric car industry.

At present, three countries have developed battery for electric cars, namely China, South Korea and Japan. In order to avoid dependence on imported battery, the government encourages investors to produce electric car battery domestically.

PT Weda Bay Nickel (WBN) is a nickel and cobalt mining and hydrometallurgical processing company being developed on the island of Halmahera, located in the North Maluku Province of the Republic of Indonesia. WBN is owned by Singapore based company, Strand Minerals Pte Ltd and the Indonesian state-owned mining company PT Aneka Tambang Tbk (IDX:ANTM).

Strand is owned by ERAMET S.A. and Mitsubishi Corporation and PAMCO. PT Weda Bay Nickel (WBN) signed the 7th Generation Contract of Work (CoW) with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia in February 1998 for nickel and cobalt mining and processing within a contract area of 54,874 hectares in the Central Halmahera and East Halmahera Regencies of the North Maluku Province.  (*)

Written by Staff Writer

Edited by Roffie Kurniawan (Email: roffie.kurniawan@gmail.com)

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