Germany’s BASF and French miner Eramet are finalizing a USD 2.6 billion partnership deal to invest in a facility in Indonesia to process nickel for use in batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The facility will produce mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) from nickel through a high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) plant, to be used in EV batteries. Eramet estimates that the plant could start production in early 2026 with an output capacity of up to 67,000 tonnes of nickel and 7,000 tonnes of cobalt contained in MHP per year. Both companies have confirmed that they are assessing the hydrometallurgical project, but did not confirm the proposed investment.
Why it matters:
Indonesia has been courting global companies to build facilities to produce EV batteries and electric cars to exploit the country’s rich nickel resources for some time. The planned facility is in line with the government’s “aspirations to set up Indonesia as a world-class EV player”, according to Indonesian Minister of Investment Bahlil Lahadalia. Indonesia is also finalizing agreements with Chinese automaker BYD Group and Tesla to invest in EV production facilities. Nickel producers in Indonesia have been retooling to take advantage of the growing demand for nickel in batteries. The country is primed to become the world’s biggest supplier of nickel for batteries as it builds out some 4.5 million tonnes of capacity that can supply both markets over the next five years, analysts estimate.