The government expects to complete the Environmental Impact Analysis (Amdal) for a car battery factory in Central Sulawesi next month, moving the project one step closer to the beginning of construction.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told reporters after a meeting with the Environment and Forestry Ministry in Jakarta on Monday evening that the government “hoped the assessment could be finalized by Dec. 18.”
Once the assessment is completed, companies can begin development on the US$3.2 billion factory in Morowali regency, which will produce lithium batteries. Construction work is expected to begin in January.
Luhut did not name the companies involved in the project but said the government would consider “various investors”, including German automakers Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.
The government plans to import and recycle old car batteries to reduce the need for extracting raw metals for new batteries, but Article 69 of the 2009 Environment Law bans importing hazardous and toxic waste, including old car batteries.
Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar separately said a compromise was for Indonesia to only import “processed batteries”, namely old batteries stripped down to their recyclable components.
“The environment ministry is also working on other rules and regulations to support the processing of battery-related waste,” she said.
Global demand for electric vehicles is rising, and the Morowali battery plant is one of Indonesia’s many investments in efforts to tap the global supply chain. The government aims to make electric vehicles account for one quarter of total domestic vehicle production by 2030.