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China’s Huayou in 2nd Indonesia Nickel Processing Plant Deal

Nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt will work together on the Sorowako plant processing 60,000 tonnes of nickel

A worker poses with a handful of nickel ore at the nickel mining factory of PT Vale Tbk, near Sorowako, Indonesia, January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad
A worker poses with a handful of nickel ore at the nickel mining factory of PT Vale Tbk, near Sorowako, Indonesia. Photo: Reuters


China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt is to build a second plant processing nickel for electric vehicle batteries in Indonesia after signing a deal with mining firm PT Vale.

Vale and Huayou have agreed to join forces to construct the $1.8 billion HPAL plant in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, to produce 60,000 tonnes of nickel in mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), chief executive Febriany Eddy told reporters.

Vale also signed a deal in April with Huayou to develop an HPAL plant – high-pressure acid leaching – in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi, to produce 120,000 tonnes of MHP. US carmaker Ford Motor Co later joined the partnership involved in this plant.

Similar to the agreement for Pomalaa, Huayou would also build the plant in Sorowako with Vale reserving the rights to buy stake at the plant, chief financial officer Bernardus Irmanto added.


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Febriany said a final investment decision (FID) for the Pomalaa plant is expected by the end of this year and a FID for Sorowako to follow next year.

Construction of each plant would take around three years at the most, she said.

“These are strategic projects for Vale because they will produce MHP, which is a material for electric car batteries,” Febriany added.

Indonesia is keen to utilise its rich nickel reserves to attract investment into metal processing, production of electric vehicle battery material and ultimately building EVs in the country. 

The government had banned exports of unprocessed nickel ore to ensure sufficient supplies for investors, which include major metal companies from China, as well as South Korean companies such as LG Energy Solution and Hyundai Motor.

Last week, Vale also signed a $2.1 billion deal with China’s Shandong Xinhai Technology and a unit of China Baowu Steel Group to build a refinery to produce ferronickel.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more: 

Tesla Signed Deal to Buy Nickel Worth $5bn, Indonesia Says

Vale’s Indonesian Unit Signs Nickel Deal With China Partner



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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