BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese battery firm GEM Co Ltd on Friday said it was teaming up with four companies to invest a total of $700 million in a project to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals in Indonesia.
The investment comes as several global metals producers have also set their sights on Indonesia’s nickel reserves, looking to tap an expected surge in demand for the battery metal from the electric vehicle sector.
The companies joining GEM include units of top Chinese lithium battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) and stainless steel-maker Tsingshan Holding Group.
They aim to establish nickel smelting capacity of at least 50,000 tonnes per year at Tsingshan’s industrial park in Morowali on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The project will also have 4,000 tonnes of cobalt smelting capacity, as well as churning out a range of battery chemicals, including 50,000 tonnes per year of nickel hydroxide intermediates.