A car brand from the United States, Ford Motor, together with nickel miner Vale Indonesia, and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt signed a non-binding memorandum of cooperation to build a factory in Indonesia.
The company plans to enter into a partnership to build a plant that produces 120,000 tonnes per year of mixed hydroxide precipitate. The material extracted from this nickel ore will be used as a component in batteries for electric vehicles. While the project is expected to be completed in 2025.
Vale said the new partnership with Ford would build on a framework agreement with Huayou, which was signed in April. Under the agreement last April, Huayou would develop the project in Southeast Sulawesi and Vale would have the right to acquire up to a 30 percent stake in the project.
“This three-way relationship is a creative way to secure the nickel Ford needs to help deliver millions of EVs to our customers and keep our environmental, social and governance goals front and center in the process,” said Lisa Drake, Ford’s Vice President of EV Industrialization, in the statement.
Indonesia plans to use its nickel reserves to attract investment in metal processing, production of EV battery materials and building EVs on land. The Indonesian government, starting in 2020, will ban the export of unprocessed nickel ore, to ensure supply for existing and potential investors.
“This partnership with Ford and PT Vale will not only provide a stable and sustainable supply for our customers, but will also benefit the increasingly robust EV industry and the Indonesian economy,” said Huayou Executive Vice Chairman George Q. Fang, in a statement.