tesla invited to build battery facility in indonesia’s giant 30k-hectare industrial area

Tesla’s potential battery facility in Indonesia will likely be built on one of the country’s most ambitious integrated industrial areas to date, according to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.

According to the Minister, an industrial area in Indonesia’s North Kalimantan (Kaltara) province, which would cover an area of up to 30,000 hectares, would be a great place for Elon Musk to establish a dedicated battery facility. The official noted that the area has the potential to produce 10,000 MW of electricity from hydropower, 10,000 MW of electricity from solar panels, and 2.9 TCF of gas.

“This is one part of my negotiations with Tesla. Tesla is not an easy negotiation. I said, ‘Elon, if you want to get end to end, get a green battery product, get a green car product, this is the place to be’,” Luhut said during a 2022 Naval Technology College National Seminar (STTAL) broadcasted online on Wednesday.

At up to 30,000 hectares (115.8 square miles), the Kaltara complex is poised to become one of the largest industrial developments in the world. A battery facility from Tesla, whose sole purpose is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, would likely be considered one of the flagship projects in Indonesia’s Kaltara industrial complex if it does push through.

“This is one that will change or transform Indonesia,” Luhut said.

Construction work at the Kaltara industrial complex already began in December 2021, though the official stated that the project itself started about five or six years ago, according to a Suara report. “This is groundbreaking. Five or six years ago, I started this project. I reviewed it. Now we will have the largest petrochemical in the world. This is a total of 132 billion US dollars for this whole project,” he said.

The Minister added that a team from Tesla had already visited Indonesia. During their visit, the team from the electric vehicle maker was invited to the nickel industry center in Morowali. Luhut noted that the Tesla team was impressed with the development of nickel downstreaming in the country.

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