Chairman of the Indonesian Mining Experts Association (Perhapi), Rizal Kasli, expresses his optimism on expanded collaboration in the development of iron-based or lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) batteries driven by the Indonesian government alongside China.
The association chairman believes that this collaboration will be advantageous for both countries in terms of the supply chain from raw materials to future markets.
“Although Indonesia currently does not possess lithium reserves, it can still import lithium from other countries,” Rizal said on Monday, January 29, 2024.
He emphasizes that partnership with China will strengthen Indonesia’s position in battery industry’s research and development, which has recently been showing increasing dynamism.
Rizal said further that in addition to relying on nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) batteries, the development of LFP batteries will widen Indonesia’s opportunities to optimize the electric vehicle battery market in the future.
“The development of NMC types remains necessary because Indonesia has a competitive advantage in nickel commodities,” he said.
As previously reported, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan revealed that the government is currently promoting cooperation in the development of LFP-based batteries with Chinese manufacturers. This collaboration was mentioned by Luhut in response to the views expressed by former Minister of Trade Thomas ‘Tom’ Lembong regarding the downward trend in global nickel prices and the migration of electric vehicle manufacturers to LFP batteries.
According to Luhut, Tom Lembong misunderstood the strategy of downstreaming nickel into batteries currently undertaken by the government.
Currently, Luhut said, Indonesia is focused on battery development of NMC types as they can already be recycled, while iron-based or LFP batteries are not yet recyclable.