Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Government: BASF, Eramet temporarily delay investment in Sonic Bay project

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Gusty da Costa

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The government has claimed that Germany ‘s chemical company BASF and French mining and metallurgical company Eramet did not withdraw from Sonic Bay Project, but only postponed their investment while considering the direction of global trade and market, a senior government officials says.

Expert Staff to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Agus Cahyana, said Eramet as a nickel mining and metallurgical company has its own concessions in Indonesia.

” So they did not withdraw their investment. It means they just want to see how far the international trade and market go. That’s how I see them being more conservative,” Agus said on Friday, July 5,2024.

Previously, Minister of Investment /Head of Investment Coordinating Board Bahlil Lahadalia confirmed that BASF and Eramet did not cancel their investment plan in Indonesia. Both are temporarily postponing their investment until global market of electric vehicle are good.

“Because once they invest and the market does not absorb their products, it is a pity for them,” he said.

Currently, Bahlil said, the markets of electric cars are going down in Europe and the US after some governments in Europe and the US impose 100 percent taxes on electric cars imported from China.

He said that the government of Indonesia is trying to make some adjustment because it is not sure about what will happen in the global economy.

More over, Bahlil added, the competition for electric cars is very tough. “The prices of Chinese electric cars are all cheap. As you can see how after Tesla laid off so many of its employees, its sales have net been optimal. They suffer losses in competition against cheaper Chinese cars,” Bahlil said.

In a statement to Indonesia Business Post, Eramet announced that the company and Germany’s BASF have decided against a joint investment in a nickel-cobalt refining complex in Weda Bay.

Eramet will continue to evaluate potential investments in the nickel electric vehicle battery value chain in Indonesia and will keep the market informed in due course.

In 2020, Eramet and BASF signed an agreement to assess the potential of jointly developing and constructing a nickel-cobalt refining complex in Weda Bay. After thorough evaluation, including discussions about project execution strategy, both partners have decided against this investment.

Geoff Streeton, Eramet’s Group Chief Development Officer, said Indonesia is poised to play a pivotal role in the future of the overall global nickel market.

“Eramet remains focused on sustainably optimizing the resource potential of Weda Bay mine to supply ore to local nickel producers, while also further investigating opportunities to participate in the nickel electric vehicle battery value chain in Indonesia,” he said.

Gusty da Costa

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Editor

 

Interview

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