Vale Indonesia breaks ground on $2.48 bln ferronickel smelter

Vale Indonesia breaks ground on $2.48 bln ferronickel smelter

Nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia broke ground on a 37.5 trillion rupiah ($2.48 billion) ferronickel smelter Sulawesi island on Friday, an Indonesian senior minister said.

The Bahodopi project will produce ferronickel with 73,000 to 80,000 tonnes of nickel content per year, Vale has said.

“I hope this will be followed by the laying of the next stones. God willing, it can be completed in 2.5 years,” Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said in a statement.

The smelter, which would employ up to 15,000 workers during construction phase is a joint project between Vale and its partners, China’s Shandong Xinhai Technology Co. Ltd and a unit of China Baowu Steel Group Corp. Ltd.

In Pomalaa, another area of Sulawesi island, Vale and its partners are developing a plant to produce 120,000 tonnes per year of mixed hydroxide precipitate, a material extracted from nickel ore that is used in batteries for electric vehicles.

Learn more: Reuters icon