LG Chemical to build lithium battery production facility in Indonesia

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan spoke during the peak event of Sail Nias 2019 (ANTARA/Doc./HO-Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs/suharto). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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JAKARTA, Sep 23, 2019, ANTARA. South Korea’s LG Chemical is considering building a facility to produce lithium batteries in Indonesia as a precautionary measure against the country’s plan to ban nickel ore exports from January 2020, a minister stated, reported the ANTARA.

LG Chemical’s plan to build the facility in Indonesia is the positive effect of the ban on nickel ore exports, Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan noted in a written statement released on Monday.

“At a meeting with LG Chemical in Seoul some time ago, they said they were considering to develop a lithium battery production facility in Indonesia after learning about Indonesia’s plan to impose a ban on the export of nickel ore as of January 2020 and looking at the upward trend in nickel prices in the global market,” Pandjaitan remarked in Beijing on Sunday after attending the ASEAN-China Expo in Nanning, China.

However, LG Chemical has yet to arrive at a decision on its partner to develop the facility.

The South Korean company may join hands with a Chinese company or German car manufacturer Volkswagen that is presently into the development of electric cars, he stated.

Pandjaitan expressed belief that LG Chemical’s intention of setting up the facility in Indonesia will support the government’s plan to develop electric cars.

Raw material for the production of batteries for electric cars is nickel, with content of less than 1.4 percent, which is currently being exported.

“Electric car also uses aluminium and carbon steel for its chassis, machine, and the likes. As such, we hope tax revenues would increase and lead to the creation of more jobs,” he stated

During the course of his visit to the ASEAN-China Expo, Pandjaitan met with Deputy Chief of the National Development and Reform of China (NDRC) Ning Jizhe.

At the meeting, Jizhe drew attention to the fact that the ban on nickel ore exports will affect China that relies on Indonesia for 50-75 percent of its nickel requirements.

In return, Pandjaitan lodged Indonesia’s objection to the Chinese government’s policy to increase anti-dumping duties on stainless steel from Indonesia.

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