Jakarta – The Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises has inaugurated Indonesia Battery Corporation or IBC, an electric battery holding company, paving the way for up to $22 billion partnership in the lucrative industry that would make the most out of the country's enormous nickel reserves.
The ministry has been preparing the holding company in the past year after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo set a goal to develop a world-class electric battery industry in Indonesia.
This holding consists of four state-controlled companies, including mining holding Indonesia Asahan Aluminum (MIND ID), gold and nickel miner Aneka Tambang (Antam), energy company Pertamina, and utility firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN). Each company would own a 25 percent stake in IBC.
"This has been a long journey since a year ago when we decided on the transformation," the State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said on Friday.
"This is also in line with President's direction. We used to be late in taking advantage of Indonesia's strength. In the '80s, we missed out on the wood industry. In the '70s, it was the oil industry that we missed out," Erick said.
"Thank God, this time we are taking advantage of the shifting momentum regarding the electric vehicle battery," Erick said.
IBC would be involved in the entire electric vehicle battery supply chain from nickel mining and smelting to battery making and distribution.
The minister said IBC would partner with Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and LG Chem, the South Korean conglomerate's new battery arm.
"We have two partnerships, with CATL valued at $5 billion and LG Chem valued at $13-17 billion. Those are huge partnerships," Erick said.
The two companies would invest in electric car battery factories in Indonesia.
"We expect technology transfer in this partnership because we know in the agreement that we are not only talking about batteries for electric cars, but we are also talking about electric batteries for electric motors, which Indonesia is one of the markets for the world's motorbike industry," Erick said.
"That way, the partnerships are mutually beneficial. We are giving in regarding the car battery. But, electric motorcycle and battery stabilizer will be Indonesia's leading sector," he said.