Indonesian nickel company Ceria Nugraha Indotama has secured a syndicated loan of $277 million from domestic banks to help finance $2.2 billion worth of processing projects, the Southeast Asian country’s energy ministry said.
Ceria, through its subsidiary Ceria Metalindo Prima, signed the loan deal with Bank Mandiri, Bank Jawa Barat Banten and Bank Sulawesi Selatan Barat.
It will fund construction of the one-line rotary kiln electric furnace plant in Southeast Sulawesi province, which will have a capacity of 23,000 tonnes per year.
Top nickel producer Indonesia has ambitious plans to process its rich supplies of nickel laterite ore used in lithium batteries and eventually become a global electric vehicle production and export hub.
Ceria is planning to build four lines of rotary kiln electric furnace plants with overall output capacity of 252,000 tonnes of ferronickel plus a high-pressure acid leach plant with capacity of 103,000 tonnes of mixed hydroxide precipitate annually.
The first line of the rotary kiln electric furnace plant is due to start commercial production in 2023 and the acid leach plant in 2024.
Ceria president-director Derian Sakmiwata, in a statement from the energy ministry, said that once fully operational, the $2.2 billion facilities will have a workforce of 5,000.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell