According to Indonesia’s Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia, Tesla agreed to build a battery and EV plant in Indonesia following Elon Musk’s meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo last weekend.
“God willing, Tesla will enter Indonesia this year,” said Bahlil in Jakarta. But I can’t announce the month yet. Let’s wait because we haven’t signed an agreement yet. How much investment is still being kept secret, still waiting. But this is good stuff, big stuff.”
The Minister of Investment divulged that Tesla is eyeing an industrial complex in Central Java province for its new EV factory in Indonesia, reported Benar News. On Tuesday, May17, Bahlil stated that Indonesia and Tesla’s team are working on a deal, hoping to have a solid investment plan by the end of 2022.
“The team is negotiating, but rest assured the President has a special move to woo Elon Musk. I personally have faith [in it]. God willing, Elon Musk’s [investment] will come to our country,” Bahlil said.
Elon Musk has met with several Indonesian officials in the past few weeks. Most recently, President Jokowi visited Elon Musk at SpaceX in Texas. The pair talked about innovation and technology during President Jokowi’s visit to SpaceX. Previously, Musk and Jokowi met at Giga Texas to discuss Tesla’s potential nickel investments in Indonesia.
The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) published a commentary in December 2021 that touched on Indonesia’s nickel reserves. According to the CSIS, Indonesia holds the world’s largest nickel reserves. The country produces 1 million metric tons per annum, accounting for 37% of the world’s nickel production.
Indonesia leverages its nickel reserves to attract investment in the battery supply chain. The Indonesian government banned the export of raw nickel in January 2020. Earlier this year, the government claimed that the raw nickel export ban has positively impacted Indonesia as it resulted in increased mining investments and exports of nickel-derived products.
Indonesia commissioned its first plant to process nickel in May 2021. Seven more nickel projects are in the works.