Tesla visits nickel plant in Indonesia for potential investment

(Credit: Nickel Industries)

Nickel Industries from down under has invited Tesla, Panasonic, Northvolt, and other automakers and battery suppliers to invest in its facilities in Indonesia.

The Australian company plans to expand into the high-purity nickel industry in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Nickel Industries aims to build a $2.3 billion plan in Morowali, Indonesia and seeks investors like Tesla or Panasonic—companies with a strong presence in the EV industry.

Nickel Industries owns a 55% stake in the plant, while Chinese stainless steel maker Tsinghsn holds the rest. 

Nickel Industries is offering potential investors a stake of up to 20% in the plant as Tsingshan dilutes its holdings. The company’s CEO, Just Werners, told Reuters that Tesla, Panasonic, and Northvolt have already visited the site of its planned facilities in Indonesia. 

Tesla-Indonesia Relations

Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister Luhut Panjaitan met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in September. Panjaitan later hinted that Tesla would not invest in Indonesia soon, recounting that Musk was worried about the global economy. 

During TSLA’s Q3 2023 earnings call, Musk openly discussed his concerns about the direction of the global economy. He also hinted that Tesla would cautiously approach its investments in Giga Mexico, considering the high interest environment. 

Despite Musk’s worries, Indonesian President Joko Widodo stated that the Tesla CEO still communicates with his government

“Indonesia is still communicating with Tesla. We continue to communicate with Elon Musk. Yes, we’re still talking to Elon Musk,” President Widodo said in a statement.

Nickel Industries Plant in Indonesia

Nickel Industries’ plant in Indonesia would produce nickel sulfate, matte, and mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP). The company’s high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plant in the country is expected to be complete by 2025 and is estimated to supply around 70,000 to 80,000 tonnes of nickel products annually. 

The company expects to sign customers for the plant’s products by mid-2024. It will offer 7,000 to 8,000 tonnes of MHP and about 10,000 tonnes of class 1 nickel matter. In addition, Nickel Industries plans to place 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of MHP, cathode, or nickel sulfate, depending on market conditions.

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Tesla visits nickel plant in Indonesia for potential investment
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