BEIJING/Hong Kong — China’s CNGR Advanced Material Co Ltd will invest in three new nickel mat production projects in Indonesia, aiming to increase annual capacity by 120,000 tons to meet increasing demand for the product used in making batteries for electric cars.
In a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, the battery equipment manufacturer said on Wednesday that three of its Hong Kong units have signed agreements with Singapore-based Rigqueza International Pte Ltd to jointly invest in the three projects in the Weda Bay industrial park.
Each involves an investment of $420 million and aims to produce nickel mat with a nickel content of 40,000 tons per year through four production lines, the filing said.
Nickel mat is an intermediate product that can be processed into battery-grade nickel.
CNGR had already invested in two nickel matte projects with Rigqueza on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi last year, with a total annual capacity of 60,000 tons. The company also reached an agreement with nickel giant Tsingshan Holding Group, which will supply it with 40,000 tons of the product.
“Both sides are continuously optimistic about the nickel matte industry,” CNGR said in the statement, adding that the investments are expected to further secure the company’s resources and reduce the cost of producing battery materials.
Registered in Singapore, Rigqueza will own a 30% stake in each of the three new projects, according to CNGR.
The Chinese company has not released more information about its partner, but said Rigqueza’s main responsibilities include coordinating with the Indonesian government to help secure local approvals and funding.
CNGR could not be contacted for further comment.
Nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange doubled to a record high of more than $100,000 a tonne within an hour in March, as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine fueled an already recovering market. They fell to about $26,365 a ton on Tuesday. (Reporting by Min Zhang in Beijing and Meg Shen in Hong Kong; editing by Barbara Lewis)
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