Tesla Looks to Indonesia for Nickel with New Investment Proposal

According to a government official, Tesla has officially submitted an investment proposal for a battery project in Indonesia. A smart move on the automakers part as the country has the largest annual production and reserves of nickel in the world.

Recently, reports surfaced suggesting that Tesla was in talks with the Indonesian government to build a new nickel project in the country. Nickel is a key component when it comes to producing the cathodes for battery cells used in electric vehicles.

The investment proposal also comes just months after Tesla CEO Elon Musk pleaded with nickel miners not to try and control supply in order to increase the price, but to instead focus on more efficient higher volume production.

It is important to note that although Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest nickel producers, it recently put a ban on exporting nickel in hopes of encouraging the industry to process it locally. In order to take advantage of the country’s nickel reserves, companies are having to deploy more production capacity in the country.

So far LG has climbed on board with a $10 billion deal to make batteries in the country announcement last December. Now we are learning Tesla will follow suite as it has submitted an investment proposal for a battery project in the country.

The reports were confirmed today by Indonesia’s deputy head for investment and mining coordination, Septian Hario Seto (via Reuters): “I received their proposal yesterday morning… next week we will meet them (virtually) to get an official explanation.”

No more details were given other than the fact that the project will go much farther than just the extraction of raw materials: “If they only want to buy raw materials, we are not interested. This (proposal) is beyond just taking the raw material.

We will update this article as more information about the project is released.

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