BASF, Eramet to finalize $2.6bn partnership on Indonesia nickel smelter

BASF’s production site in Schwarzheide, Germany. Credit: BASF

Germany’s BASF and French mining firm Eramet are finalizing a $2.6 billion partnership deal to invest in a nickel smelting facility in Indonesia, Indonesia’s investment ministry said, citing the CEO of BASF.

The project investment deal would be worth around 2.4 billion euros ($2.59 billion), the investment ministry said, citing BASF chief executive Martin Brudermüller. The project will make materials to be used in batteries for electric vehicles.

“We would like to convey that our agreement with Eramet is at the final stage, it is likely that our decision will be taken in the first half of 2023,” the ministry quoted Brudermüller as saying.

An investor presentation by Eramet this month showed that the partnership would build a hydro-metallurgical complex with a high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) unit, to produce mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), which is expected to start production in early 2026, subject to a final investment decision.

The facility is due to have an output capacity of 67,000 tonnes of nickel and 7,500 tonnes of cobalt per year contained in MHP, materials used in batteries for electric vehicles.

The presentation said the facility in Indonesia’s Weda Bay would be “in line with Eramet’s ambitions to position itself as a key European player in the EV battery value chain.”

Eramet would own 51% of the project, while BASF would hold 49%, the presentation showed.

BASF and Eramet could not immediately be reached for comment.

($1 = 0.9270 euros)

(By Bernadette Christina; Editing by Ed Davies)

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