Eramet Explores Electric Battery Project Collaboration with Chinese Company 

09 Jul 2024

Energy Transition

French mining company Eramet SA is exploring a collaboration with Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co (Huayou) to produce nickel, which will be used as raw material for electric vehicle batteries in Indonesia. This partnership will be similar to Eramet's previous project with BASF, which was discontinued this June. 


As quoted from Bloomberg, sources indicate that Eramet is currently in communication with Huayou regarding an agreement to supply ore to a high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) nickel processing plant located at the Weda Bay Industrial Park in North Maluku, Indonesia. The French company is also reportedly considering acquiring shares in the Huafei plant, the world's largest HPAL smelter operated by Huayou. Both Eramet and Huayou have not confirmed this potential collaboration. 


Eramet previously announced that it was cancelling a massive battery project in Indonesia. In an official statement, Eramet's management said they would continue to evaluate investment opportunities in the nickel electric vehicle battery value chain in Indonesia and would keep the market informed in due course.  


"Indonesia is ready to play a significant role in the future of the global nickel market overall. Eramet remains focused on sustainably optimizing the Weda Bay mining resource potential to supply ore to local nickel producers while also further investigating opportunities to participate in the nickel electric vehicle battery value chain in Indonesia," said Geoff Streeton, Group Chief Development Officer of Eramet. 


The project was expected to become the only HPAL smelter in Indonesia with Western shareholders, potentially qualifying it for substantial subsidies under the United States Inflation Reduction Act. Currently, Huayou operates two plants in Indonesia and plans to build two more through a partnership with Brazil's Vale SA. Additionally, Australia's Nickel Industries Ltd and Indonesian conglomerate PT Harum Energy are constructing a plant with Tsingshan Holding Group, the world's largest nickel and stainless steel producer. 


Original article 

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