Indonesian ministers visit Seoul for battery plant JV with LG Chem and Hyundai Motor

Erick Thohir is an Indonesian politician and businessman. He is the founder and chairman of Mahaka Group, a holding company which focuses on media and entertainment. He was also the owner of Inter Milan and D.C.

Indonesian Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Erick Thohir and Chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Bahlil Lahadalia flew to Seoul Thursday in hopes to finalize a joint-venture deal from LG Chem and Hyundai Motor to establish a battery plant in the Southeast Asian country, reports.

Indonesia, rich in nickel, cobalt, and manganese used in secondary batteries, envisions of becoming an industrial hub for electric vehicles in 2030.

The Indonesian government has worked hard to attract LG Chem’s battery plant following a plant-building deal with another South Korean manufacturer Hyundai Motor in Bekasi, the Jakarta Outer Ring Road.

On Sept. 15, the country’s Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investments, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said Indonesia has inked the deal to develop lithium batteries with LG Chem and CATL, adding the country’s goal of producing the latest 811 lithium batteries starting in 2024.

Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investments, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan

LG Chem has pursued a plan to establish its first battery joint venture with Hyundai Motor Company instead of solo investment in Indonesia. A potential location for LG Chem’s battery plant is Batang Industrial Estate in Central Java whose size spans 4,000 ha (40㎢), and 450 ha land is already prepared for the first phase of the project. On June 30, President Joko Widodo said during his tour to the industrial site that LG has nothing to worry about, vowing full support from central and local governments.

During a site briefing session that time, the Indonesian government said LG Chem was included among overseas companies eyeing to relocate factory facilities or build ones in Indonesia, adding it is talking with LG Chem over a plan of $9.8 billion investment and creating 14,000 jobs.

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