A photo illustration of nickel mining. (B1 File Photo)

Antam’s Subsidiaries to Work on EV Battery Ecosystem

BY :INVESTOR DAILY

JANUARY 10, 2023

Jakarta. State miner Antam is ramping up its focus on building Indonesia’s ecosystem for electric vehicle batteries. 

Antam has assigned its subsidiaries, namely Sumberdaya Arindo (SDA) and Nusa Karya Arindo (NKA), to develop the upstream industry, as they have adequate reserves of nickel ore — a critical component for EV batteries. 

The company is also currently in negotiations with Ningbo Brunp Lygend —a Chinese holding subsidiary affiliated with one of the world’s largest battery producers CATL— and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (LGES).

“We are currently negotiating with two of our strategic partners, CBL and LGES,” Antam corporate secretary Syarif Faisal Alkadrie told Jakarta Globe's sister publication Investor Daily on Monday.

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Once the negotiations are complete, Antam through Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC) will proceed to the downstream sector. 

According to Faisal, the negotiations are currently on the articles of the partnership. Faisal added that Antam did not want to rush its negotiations, but at the same time, the company did not want it to take too long. 

“So the finalization would include the involvement of SDA and NKA in the upstream industry. Once we are done with the upstream, we will then discuss the downstream sector,” Faisal said.

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A CLSA study reported that Antam has completed the SDA and NKA spin-off process, with a total value of 50 percent of the net asset value. It is now in the process of calculating the valuation. The study wrote that the agreement would likely reach its completion in the first semester of 2023, and the development of a new mining area will begin this year-end.

Antam is part of the state-owned mining holding MIND ID, which also oversees coal miner Bukit Asam, copper mining firm Freeport Indonesia, aluminum firm Inalum, and tin metal producer Timah. 

IBC is a consortium of four state-owned enterprises, namely MIND ID, Antam, oil company Pertamina, and utility firm PLN, with each owning a 25 percent stake.

IBC has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian energy firm Citaglobal to build a battery cell manufacturing plant and battery energy storage system project. The MoU is effective immediately from the date of the execution. It shall remain in effect over the next year. 

According to Citaglobal executive chairman and president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria, scaling up the battery storage capacity is critical to the renewable energy development efforts in both Malaysia and Indonesia. Mohammad Norza added that the Malaysian Energy Commission had made known its intentions of adopting up to 500 MW of battery storage technology.

“We are honored and look forward to a productive and fruitful collaboration with IBC. A cross-country collaboration will allow both parties to leverage on each other’s expertise and quicken the process of increasing low-carbon power sources,” Norza Zakaria was quoted as saying in a press statement on Monday.

The EV market has a compound annual growth rate of 21.7 percent. Battery accounts for at least 35 percent of the total cost of EV production.

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