Tesla and Indonesia in battery plant discussions this week

Tesla (TSLA) is apparently inching closer to a deal to build a battery factory in Indonesia. Indonesia President Joko Widodo revealed that the high-level team would meet with top executives of electric vehicle specialist Tesla this week.

In a statement to Reuters on Friday, President Jokowi stated that the trip would be part of Indonesia’s promotion of its “Omnibus” Job Creation law. The “Omnibus” law aims at simplifying how companies can do business in the country. The “Omnibus” initiative harmonizes 79 existing laws, significantly cutting red tape and potentially spurring investments from interested businesses.

The delegation will meet with Tesla executives this week. The delegation will include high-ranking officials, led by Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan. “It’s essential because we have a great plan to make Indonesia the biggest producer of lithium batteries and we have the biggest nickel (reserves),” Jokowi said.

Tesla needs more batteries

According to some reports, recently, CEO Elon Musk pleaded with mining companies to increase their nickel production.

Tesla has been trying to secure more nickel lately to support its ambitious battery supply plan. Most of its supply previously purchased through battery suppliers, like Panasonic and CATL. Now, Tesla intends to develop more through its own efforts.

Previous reports have indicated that Tesla may be planning on building a dedicated battery factory in Indonesia. This plan on account of the country’s massive nickel supply. In a statement to CNBC Indonesia last month, Minister of Industry (Menperin) Agus Gumiwang stated that talks with Tesla are ongoing for a potential battery factory in the Batang area. These points were previously highlighted by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment General TNI (Purn) Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan. Minister Purn had noted that he had already spoken with the American electric car maker.

In conclusion, this could potential battery plant in Indonesia could be Tesla’s largest in the world.

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