TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto said that Chinese investors are interested in building a nickel factory in North Halmahera, North Maluku, to process the nickel that is a component of a lithium battery.
“It will be extracted, cobalt for batteries as well,” he said at the Bung Karno Complex, Sunday, August 5.
He explained that the lithium batteries will be used for the energy source of electric vehicles. “The electricity industry has the battery as its component,” he said.
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the development of electric cars is currently still constrained by the supply of batteries that still need to be imported. Whereas the raw materials for lithium batteries are nickel and cobalt, it is abundant in the country.
Luhut assessed the advantage of using electric vehicles are environmentally friendly, which comes from energy diversification will be more efficient and have low operational costs.
According to him, at the initial stage, the cooperation between Chinese and French investors would donate US$5 billion.
“The investors will visit North Halmahera. I ask them, if they want to be serious, make a lithium battery and they agree. The Chinese investors want to invest five billion dollars in the first stage (the construction of a nickel factory). Then they want to invest later the five billion for the second stage,” he said.