JAKARTA, Sept. 15 (Reuters) – South Korean company LG Energy Solution (LGES) and Hyundai Motor Group have started construction of a $ 1.1 billion factory to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) in Indonesia, amid pressure from the Southeast Asian nation to mine its rich nickel reserves.
In a video released Wednesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the plant was the first installation of batteries for electric vehicles in Southeast Asia and signaled the government’s commitment to use its nickel resources to develop industries. downstream.
“Indonesia has the largest nickel reserves in the world and with this potential, I believe that in the next three to four years, with good management, Indonesia will be the main producer of nickel products, such as batteries, ”Jokowi said, as chairman. widely known, said at a groundbreaking ceremony.
Battery plant in Indonesia’s West Java province is part of $ 9.8 billion investment plan for LGES, Indonesian Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia says, covering nickel supply chain and in batteries.
Jong-hyun Kim, managing director of LGES, which is 100% owned by LG Chem Ltd (051910.KS), said in a virtual address that the batteries will be produced using the company’s latest technology and installed in various electric vehicles from Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors Corp. .
Construction of the plant will be completed by the first half of 2023, a joint statement from Hyundai Motor Group and LGES said, adding that serial production of battery cells at the new plant is expected to begin in the first half of 2024.
When fully operational, the facility is expected to produce 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) of NCMA (nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum) lithium-ion battery cells annually to power more than 150,000 electric vehicles.
In addition, the facility will be ready to increase its production capacity up to 30 GWh to meet future growth, the statement said.
Hyundai Motor Group and LGES plan to develop a battery industry in Indonesia, as well as electric vehicle assembly plants and charging infrastructure.
“Through the development of these industries, an electric vehicle ecosystem will be successfully developed in Indonesia, and I am further convinced that Indonesia will play a key role as a hub of the electric vehicle market in Southeast Asia. Hyundai Motor President Euisun Chung said.
Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe in Jakarta and additional reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul Writing by Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Ed Davies
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