Indonesia glares at Tesla hoping to win

Indonesia has the largest nickel reserves in the world. Indonesian President Joko Widodo intends to develop a complete sector, from mining to the battery industry and especially electric vehicles. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with a population of 222 million.

After New Caledonia and Australia, the CEO of Tesla continues to lay the groundwork to acquire all the nickel available. This time, it is with Indonesia that Elon Musk should forge a vast partnership.

New ferronickel factory in Indonesia on the island of Sulawesi “the iron trident”.


It was Saturday that the meeting between the boss of Tesla and the Indonesian president took place in Texas, who did not hesitate to make the trip. The latter was previously in Washington for a meeting of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Jokowy met Musk at the SpaceX launch site in Boca Chica. The political leader, better known as Jokowy, took the opportunity to invite Elon Musk to Indonesia in November, said the Indonesian President’s entourage. On this occasion, the CEO of Tesla should fly over in a helicopter and then visit the mines and industrial facilities of Weda Bay on the island of Halmahera, the great Indonesian island of nickel.

The Indonesian President also raised the possibility of a SpaceX rocket launch site in the country.


In a hydrometallurgical nickel plant of the Vale group in Indonesia

©Basri Matsuki NURPHOTO/AFP

The meeting concluded a series of working discussions on a huge potential Tesla investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry, according to statements collected by Reuters from Indonesian leaders.

Tesla representatives were in Indonesia last week to discuss these issues. Tesla has not commented, but Indonesia has been aiming for an agreement with Elon Musk for years to finance a new production line for electric batteries. The country also aims to install a Gigafactory to produce electric cars. Tesla could choose Indonesia as the hub for its auto production in the Asia-Pacific region.


Production of refined nickel matte in Indonesia. An industrial quality that would allow their use for battery-grade nickel. It must be oxidized to make sulphate.

©Basri Marzuki NURPHOTO/AFP

An ambition that is taking shape since, last month, two agreements each involving 9 billion dollars of investment were concluded, one by a consortium led by the South Korean company LG Energy Solution Ltd, and the other by its Chinese rival, CAT (Contemporary Amperex Technology).

Indonesia, home to some of the world’s largest copper, nickel and tin deposits, touts its abundance of natural resources, weak environmental laws and low wages to attract billions of dollars in investors strangers.

LME Nickel (provisional price) 05/17/2022 at 14:30 GMT

$26,711 +0.61%. Week -5.99%.


Nickel mine of the Brazilian group Vale in Indonesia

©Marzuki Soroakos AFP

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