Indonesia says LG Chem, CATL sign deal for lithium battery plant

Indonesia has secured a deal to build a lithium battery plant in the country with South Korean LG Chem Ltd and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL), a senior minister said, The Economic Times reports.

Taking advantage of the nation’s large nickel output from which battery chemicals can be extracted, Indonesia has set a 2024 target to start producing lithium batteries, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said.

“We have signed (a deal for) lithium batteries with LG Chem and CATL, and the proposals have been drawn up,” Luhut said in a virtual seminar on Tuesday. He added that the agreement covered the scale of the project, timeline and incentives offered to the companies by the government. Luhut did not disclose the size of investment.

We will continue to develop the downstream industry for nickel to lithium batteries and electric vehicles,” he said.

Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board said in June that LG Chem was considering a $9.8 billion investment in an electric vehicle battery factory integrated with a smelter.

Meanwhile, CATL is already investing in a plant on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island to extract battery-grade nickel chemicals.

Indonesia stopped exports of unprocessed nickel earlier this year to ensure raw material supply for nickel investments in the country.

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