Luhut stressed that the world’s largest nickel smelter project in Pomalaa must continue even if RI lost at the WTO

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Minister in charge of the coordination of maritime affairs and investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan pointed out that the processing and refining or smelting project nickel by PT Vale Indonesia Tbk in Pomalaa Block, Kolaka Regency, Southeast Sulawesi must move forward.

“Because this project is building an ecosystem, not a project. We want to build an ecosystem for a lithium battery that can then work in electric cars, can work anywhere,” Luhut said at the groundbreaking for the construction of a nickel processing and refining plant. in Pomala, Sunday, November 27, 2022.

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Luhut said the high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant would be the largest in production in the world. “The biggest HPAL in the world is in Indonesia and you cannot make batteries without this HPAL. So this HPAL creates an ecosystem which is very important for us,” he said.

In addition, according to Luhut, the company’s performance will also show in the results of Vale Indonesia’s HPAL nickel processing plant in Morowali, Central Sulawesi. He is also optimistic that this project will boost the production of HPAL for the development of electric vehicles (EV) in Indonesia, as production and technology have developed rapidly.

Luhut then explained why he accepted the project. One of them is because Luhut knows the chairman of Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Company Limited Chen Xuehua (chairman Chen).

“I went with him to Germany to negotiate with BMW and VW. And he was being sued because he had good technology. So when I heard that he was married to PT. Vale Indonesia, I said that it was the right choice,” Luhut said.

Production capacity of the Pomalaa nickel smelter

Meanwhile, Vale Indonesia CEO Febriany Eddy aims for the project to produce 120,000 tonnes of nickel and 15,000 tonnes of cobalt per year. “This project has entered into the National Strategic Project. With an investment value of Rs 67.5 trillion, it is the largest HPAL plant,” he said.

All of PT Vale Indonesia’s operational activities are responsible investments and adhere to sustainability principles using HPAL technology provided by Huayou. Later in the project, there will be several phased outsourcing of Indonesian workers.

Additionally, Febriany said his party would continue to be a partner for local communities and ensure a balance of economic, ecological and social impacts. With the start of this development project, it is hoped that up to 12,000 local workers will be absorbed into the factories and mines.

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