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Indonesia’s First EV Battery Plant Launched by Hyundai, LGES

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and LG Energy Solution opened the first EV battery plant in Indonesia on Wednesday. It is part of a $9.8bn plan to set up an EV supply chain in SE Asia’s biggest economy

President Joko Widodo speaks at the opening of Indonesia's first electric vehicle battery plant on July 3, 2024 (Reuters).


Two South Korean conglomerates have built Indonesia’s first EV battery plant, which was opened on Java island on Wednesday by President Joko Widodo.

Executives from Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution (LGES) flew in to inaugurate the battery cell production plant, which will have an annual capacity of 10 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery cells.

The plant is part of a commitment by Hyundai Motor and LGES to invest up to $9.8 billion in Southeast Asia’s largest economy to develop an EV supply chain, the Indonesian government said, to benefit from its rich resources of nickel and copper.


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“Mineral resources of this nation, such as iron and nickel are important components in batteries that will mobilise millions of EVs globally,” Hyundai Motor Group executive chair Euisun Chung said at the factory’s opening ceremony.

The plant is integrated with Hyundai’s auto factory where the company is set to start producing 50,000 units per year of Kona Electric, an SUV that would use batteries made in Indonesia.

Hyundai and LGES are also preparing to start developing the second phase of the battery plant, which involves an investment of $2 billion to add 20 GWh capacity to the plant.

The companies announced in 2021 that they were investing $1.1 billion in the battery cell plant in West Java province. It has enough annual capacity to produce batteries that can power more than 150,000 battery-based electric vehicles.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the plant would cement Indonesia’s key position in the EV global supply chain as it establishes a domestic processing industry.

“This is the first and largest EV battery cell plant in Southeast Asia, and I am sure we will be able to win this competition with other countries because the nickel, bauxite and copper are here,” Jokowi said at the event.

Indonesia, the world’s top producer of nickel, banned exports of raw nickel in 2020 to encourage investment into domestic processing of the metal.

Indonesia’s Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia and South Korea’s Minister for Trade Cheong Inkyo also met on Wednesday to discuss cooperation in electric vehicles, petrochemicals and the clean energy technologies such as carbon dioxide capture and storage, South Korea’s trade ministry said in a statement.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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