VKTR and Tambang Nikel Sulteng (TNS) Cooperation in Supplying Nickel Ore
PT VKTR Teknologi Mobilitas (VKTR), a subsidiary of PT Bakrie & Brothers Tbk (BNBR) which is engaged in battery and transportation electrification acceleration, has agreed to cooperate with PT Tambang Nickel Sulteng (TNS) in an effort to supply nickel ore. This cooperation agreement is stated in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by VKTR President Director Gilarsi W. Setijono and TNS President Director Ronny Tanusaputra, in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Tuesday (19/7/2022).
Gilarsi said, in accordance with the MoU, TNS will provide VKTR with a supply of nickel ore obtained from an environmentally friendly mining process. The nickel ore is planned to be processed by a joint venture company between VKTR and other parties. Meanwhile, TNS will also be given the opportunity to own shares in the joint venture.
“Currently VKTR continues to strive to take a role in the development of the electric vehicle ecosystem in the country, considering that Indonesia has nickel ore reserves of 25 percent of all world reserves,” said Gilarsi, in a written statement, Wednesday (20/7/2022).
Downstream nickel industry, continued Gilarsi, later could make Indonesia a major player in the field of lithium battery production. This downstreaming will certainly increase the added value of the economy significantly, explained Gilarsi.
According to Gilarsi, in 2022, the government targets the production of refined nickel to reach 2.58 million tons. This target will be supported by production of Ferronickel of 1.66 million tons, Nickel Pig Iron of 831,000 tons, and Nickel Matte of 82,900 tons.
“We hope that in the next five years domestic nickel production can continue to increase in a sustainable manner considering the abundance of nickel reserves in Indonesia,” he said.
Gilarsi added that the age of Indonesia’s nickel ore reserves could reach 73 years for low grade nickel ore below 1.5 percent or limonite nickel ore. The assumption of the age of the reserves comes from the total reserves of nickel limonite ore reaching 1.7 billion tons and the need for domestic processing capacity of 24 million tons per year.
Meanwhile, for high grade nickel ore above 1.5 percent or saprolite nickel, the age of the reserves is said to be only sufficient for the next 27 years. This calculation is based on the assumption that the amount of saprolite ore is 2.6 billion tons and the capacity for domestic smelters is 95.5 million tons per year.
“With sufficient nickel reserves in the country, as well as pro-sustainable policy support for the industry, we are all optimistic that Indonesia will be able to become a dominant global player in the future,” said Gilarsi.
Earlier this year, together with PT Transport Jakarta (Transjakarta) and PT Mayasari Bakti, a total of 30 units of VKTR-BYD electric buses were launched as part of the Transjakarta fleet and have been going back and forth on the streets serving transportation for residents of the capital. In the future, the Company will expand the range of VKTR products to areas other than DKI Jakarta.
Currently, VKTR is promoting collaboration with various parties, as one of the Company’s strategies to localize technology and develop a transportation electrification ecosystem for its manufactured products. In addition to BYD Auto, VKTR has signed a partnership with British environmentally friendly battery manufacturer British Volt, bodybuilding company Tri Sakti, British heavy mobility technology company Equipmake, Surabaya State Electronics Polytechnic (PENS), Sebelas Maret University (UNS) Surakarta, PT Jasa Facilities and a number of other parties. “All these collaborations are carried out to build a complete transportation electrification ecosystem in Indonesia, from upstream to downstream,” said Gilarsi.