25 May 2023
JAKARTA, iNews.id - PT Trimegah Bangun Persada Tbk (NCKL) once again made history. An integrated nickel mining and downstream company owned by the Harita group has successfully produced nickel sulfate as a raw material for making electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
NCKL Corporate Secretary, Franssoka Y Sumarwi, said a nickel sulfate plant operated by PT Halmahera Persada Lygend (PT HPL), a subsidiary of NCKL, has now entered its ramping up stage or a significant increase to reach full production capacity.
She said the nickel sulfate plant operating in Obi Island, North Maluku, is the first to operate in Indonesia and the largest in the world by production capacity.
"PT HPL successfully produced battery-grade nickel sulfate for the first time on March 25, 2023. We are very grateful because this is a new milestone in new energy resources in Indonesia," Franssoka said in a press release on the tbpnickel.com website, Wednesday (5/24/2023).
PT HPL's success in producing raw materials for electric vehicle battery cathode precursors has made Indonesia's position in the electric vehicle battery industry map increasingly taken into account.
Franssoka further revealed that NCKL continues to refine and increase production until it reaches a total production capacity of 240 thousand metric tons (MT) of nickel sulfate per year which is expected in mid-2023.
For information, PT HPL previously pioneered in producing a mixture of nickel and cobalt, Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) in 2021. In addition to producing nickel sulfate, this MHP downstream and refining will also produce cobalt sulfate (CoSO4). Nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate are both core materials for making new energy source cathodes, namely electric vehicle batteries.
"These two compounds are a real success example of conservation and mineral added value improvement, as they come from a low grade nickel ore or limonite processing and refining that previously could not be processed or became overburden. The right technology, namely High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) and a high work ethic make this possible," Franssoka added.
PT HPL's production capacity allows the company to process and refine its entire MHP production into nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate. However, by 2023, the NCKL subsidiary only plans to process around 50 percent of MHP into nickel sulfate. PT HPL is also exploring sales with several potential buyers and the first export of nickel sulfate is expected to be carried out in early June 2023.
"In the future, the company will continue to improve its entire nickel resource industry chain, as well as become a new energy material manufacturing company that prioritizes environmental management and community empowerment and contributes to industrial development," Franssoka concluded.