Indonesia receives investment proposal from Tesla: official

FILE PHOTO: A logo of electric vehicle maker Tesla is seen near a shopping complex in Beijing, China, January 5, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo

(Reuters) – Indonesia has received an investment proposal from U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker Tesla, the country’s deputy head for investment and mining coordination, Septian Hario Seto, told reporters on Friday.

Indonesia is the world’s biggest nickel producer, a material crucial for EV batteries, and has been publicly wooing Tesla to invest in the country to help develop its ambitious EV and battery industry plans.

“I received their proposal yesterday morning… next week we will meet them (virtually) to get an official explanation,” Septian said.

Septian said he could not give details of the proposal due to a non-disclosure agreement, but said that the focus of their discussions had been on batteries and energy storage solutions.

“If they only want to buy raw materials, we are not interested. This (proposal) is beyond just taking the raw material,” he added.

Once the top exporter of nickel, Indonesia stopped nickel shipments last year, in an effort to develop a full nickel supply chain, starting from extraction, then processing into metals and chemicals used in batteries, to meet the demand for electric vehicles (EVs).

Tesla said last year it was looking to find reliable sources of nickel globally after warning the current cost of batteries remained a hurdle to its growth.