Chinese manufacturer, Tsingshan Steel Pipe Co. Ltd., targeting the construction of copper smelter in Weda Bay, Central Halmahera, is targeting to be completed in 2023 - Photo by Industry Ministry Office

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Chinese manufacturer, Tsingshan Steel Pipe Co. Ltd., targeting the construction of copper smelter in Weda Bay, Central Halmahera, is targeting to be completed in 2023, said the energy and mineral resources (EMR) minister early of this week. While, the final agreement with their partner, PT Freeport Indonesia to be achieved at the end of March.

The copper smelter will have a capacity production 2.4 million tones (MT) with investment cost around US$2.5 billion. While, PTFI smelter capacity in Gresik, East Java has been cut to 1.7 MT from the initial planned 3 MT per year and 300,000 tones was covered through the development of an existing copper smelter at PT Smelting.

The unit of MIND ID together with Japanese firms, Mitsubishi Corporation Unimetal Ltd., and Nippo Mining Metals Co. Ltd build the smelter projects in Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate, Gresik, East Java. According to the minister, Arifin Tasrif, most important thing for the government is the mining license holder must build the new processing of copper concentrate in the country.

For the existing smelter owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), the expansion project has absorbed an investment $300 million and its planned to operate in 2023. The third parties targeting to increase the smelter capacity from 1 million tons to 1.3 million tons per year. The copper smelter will also produces sulfuric acid which can be used as a material for making lithium batteries.

Recently, Tsingshan has led a group of investors to build a nickel sulfate plant to produce electric vehicle batteries in a $10 billion industrial park linked to its Weda Bay Industrial Park, in Maluku. The group includes China’ Huayou Cobalt Co., Ltd., and Zhenshi Holding Group.

The first phase of the project will produce coke and other steelmaking raw materials, as well as synthetic ammonia, the statement said, while the second phase will use crude benzene to develop polymer materials. The company and other firms investing in an electric vehicle battery chemical plant in Indonesia will have to pay significantly more than a $700 million price tag estimated last year.

While, Chinese battery firm, GEM, said it was teaming up Tsingshan on the plan. The plan is to build the 50,000 tones of high-pressure acid leach facility at Tsingshan’ industrial park in Morowali, Central Sulawesi. The consortium includes Guangdong Brunp Recycling Technology, a unit of Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd., and Japanese trading house Hanwa.

Tsingshan’ success in ramping up nickel pig iron production in Indonesia has led the market to think the top producer could repeat that in chemicals. It said the Morowali plant would cost less than previous plants because the infrastructure such as port facilities, roads, and power plants was already built.

Written by Editorial Staff, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com