Indonesia will add five new nickel smelters in 2020 with a capacity of 249,652mt after the country announced a ban on export of mineral ores by 2022. The country’s ban on nickel ore exports came into effect on Jan 1, 2020.
The upcoming five smelters will produce ferronickel, nickel pig iron, lead bullion and ferromanganese. PT Antam’s nickel smelter in East Halmahera, North Maluku will produce 64,655mt of ferronickel annually while, PT Arthabhumi Sentra Industries in Morowali, central Sulawesi will produce 72,965mt of nickel pig iron, annually. PT Elit Kharisma Utama nickel smelter in Banten will produce also produce nickel pig iron with a targeted annual output of 97,458mt. This smelter is likely to become operational in June 2020 at half capacity.
The PT Putra Indonesia Jaya manganese smelter in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara will produce 40,379mt of ferromanganese annually, while, PT Kapuas Prima Coal lead smelter in Kotawaringin Barat, Central Kalimantan will produce 22,924mt of lead bullion per year.
Indonesia plans to make 29 smelters operational by 2022 to absorb additional domestic ore supply.
In November, European Union filed a dispute against this move with the World Trade Organisation accusing Indonesia of breaking free-trade rules.