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WEF 2023 Davos: BASF CEO Updates IDR 39 Trillion Nickel Smelter Investment

Wed 18 Jan 2023, 14:00 PM



On the sidelines of the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, two European companies Badische Anilin-und Soda-Fabrik ( BASF ) and Eramet will soon realize their nickel refining investment plan in North Maluku or the Sonic Bay project whose investment value reaches 2.4 billion euros or the equivalent of IDR 39.1 trillion (IDR 16,706 per Euro).  BASF Chief Executive Officer Martin Brudermüller said that BASF's investment process in Indonesia was able to run well, especially in terms of obtaining permits because it received support from the Ministry of Investment or the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

The investment plan in question is the construction of a nickel refining plant with High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) technology that produces Mixed Hydroxide Precipitates (MHP) in the Teluk Weda Industrial Area, North Maluku. The project, named Sonic Bay, is being worked on by BASF together with the French multinational mining and metallurgical company, Eramet. "We would like to convey that our agreement with Eramet is at the final stage, it is likely that our decision will be taken in the first half of 2023," he said in a meeting with Investment Minister/Head of BKPM Bahlil Lahadalia at the Indonesia Pavilion 2023 in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday (17/ 1).

 Brudermüller added that the investment value that BASF and Eramet will make is estimated at around 2.4 billion euros. According to him, the downstream project is expected to be able to directly create as many as 1,000 jobs. Also Read: Luhut and Bahlil Inaugurate the Opening of the Indonesia Pavilion at WEF 2023 Davos "We really appreciate the support from the Ministry of Investment/BKPM so that our investment process runs smoothly.

We also plan to make follow-up investments." he added. The Sonic Bay project is expected to reap an investment value of up to US$2.2 billion–US$2.6 billion with a production capacity of 67,000 tons of nickel/year and 7,500 tons of cobalt/year. BASF's follow-up investment plan aims to produce MHP as an electric battery precursor. Bahlil encouraged BASF's plan to invest in nickel refining for the development of electric vehicles in North Maluku to be realized soon.

Bahlil added that BASF's investment plan in Indonesia is in line with the government's priority projects related to downstream mining. The plan. BASF will work with Eramet, which already has business legality on behalf of PT Eramet Halmahera Nickel.   "I fully support BASF's investment plan in Indonesia, especially in supporting the development of the electric vehicle battery ecosystem. This is in line with the aspirations of our country's government which wants to make Indonesia a world-class electric vehicle player," he explained. He said that BASF's nickel refining plant will be located in North Maluku, which is the source of nickel raw materials.

"We at the Ministry of Investment/BKPM will oversee all BASF investment processes from start to finish so that this project can be implemented immediately," said Bahlil. BASF is a multinational company from Germany and the world's largest chemical producer with a business portfolio in six segments, namely chemicals, materials, industrial solutions, surface technologies, nutritional solutions and agriculture. In 2021, BASF generates sales of 78.6 billion euros or around IDR 12.8 trillion.

In Indonesia, BASF has been investing since 1976. BASF solutions contribute to the success of Indonesian customers in almost all industries, including agriculture, food, home and personal care, automotive, paints and coatings, and basic chemicals. BASF Indonesia has production plants in Cengkareng, Cimanggis and Merak. In 2021, BASF recorded sales of around 567 million euros for customers in Indonesia.

On 1 January 2023, BASF Indonesia appointed Christofer Arisandy as President Director to replace Agus Ciputra who took on a regional role. Christofer Arisandy has 20 years of experience in the chemical industry and started his career at BASF since 2003. "I believe BASF will further strengthen its strategic position in Indonesia and will continue to take advantage of domestic and international growth opportunities," said Christofer Arisandy.  



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