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Jakarta Post

Investment shortfalls cause 30% drop in nickel smelter construction by 2022

  • Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Wed, December 11, 2019   /  03:41 pm
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Nickel ore is processed at a PT Vale Indonesia smelting plant. Planned nickel and bauxite smelters will not be finished on schedule because of investment shortfalls.(JP/Ruslan Sangadji)

Less than a month before Indonesia bans the export of raw nickel ore, the Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry has lowered its projections for nickel and bauxite smelter construction by 2022 because of investment shortfalls. A ministry official said on Dec. 6 that domestic smelters could still absorb domestic metal production, particularly nickel, in 2022, despite lowered smelter input capacity. “With a combined input capacity of 69 million tons [yearly], our smelters are sufficient for 30 years. That’s already great,” said the ministry’s mineral business development director Yunus Saefulhak. The Energy Ministry initially expected 41 nickel smelters and 11 bauxite smelters to begin operation by 2022, but due to investment shortfalls, the ministry estimates that only 29 nickel and 9 bauxite facilities will be operational by then. It means that abou...