Hyundai Motor ends Indonesia aluminum deal after climate campaign by K-pop fans

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Electric on display at Thailand International Motor Show 2022. Stock image.

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co and PT Adaro Minerals Indonesia Tbk have ended an aluminum supply agreement after calls by a climate campaigner backed by K-pop fans not to procure supplies of the metal produced using coal power.

Millions of young K-pop fans have thrown their considerable weight at times behind various global campaigns and social causes, often using social media.

Hyundai Motor said in a statement on Tuesday that it had ended its non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Adaro, a unit of Indonesia’s second-largest coal miner Adaro Energy Indonesia, at the end of 2023, adding that the companies had decided to explore other opportunities independently.

Wito Krisnahadi, director of PT Adaro Minerals Indonesia, also confirmed the companies had decided not to renew the agreement following its expiry.

The South Korean automaker signed the MoU with Adaro Minerals in 2022 to secure the right to purchase aluminum produced by Adaro’s subsidiary PT Kalimantan Aluminium Industry.

At the time of the signing, Hyundai said it expected to procure aluminum from Adaro that meets the automaker’s carbon neutralization policy amid growing demand for aluminum among global automakers.

Smelting aluminum requires huge amounts of energy and when using coal produces large volumes of carbon emissions.

Adaro plans to power the third phase of its aluminum smelter project with a hydropower plant its group is currently building.

The climate activist group Kpop4Planet that had been calling for an end to Hyundai’s aluminum agreement welcomed the decision by the carmaker.

“It is the victory of thousands of K-pop fans who genuinely care about the climate crisis, especially in Indonesia,” Kpop4Planet told Reuters, adding that it will continue to monitor Hyundai’s sourcing of materials for its manufacturing.

(By Heekyong Yang and Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Ed Davies)


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