China’s Shenzhen Chengxin Lithium Group and an affiliate of Indonesian firm Tsingshan have reportedly agreed to invest in a $350m lithium plant in Indonesia.

The facility is expected to help meet the growing demand from the electric vehicle (EV) battery sector.

As part of this plan, the PT ChengTok Lithium Indonesia joint venture will be launched with Chengxin holding a 65% stake, according to Reuters.

The remaining stake would be held by Singapore-incorporated Stellar Investment, an affiliate of steel and nickel producer Tsingshan.

Planned to be built in Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park on the island of Sulawesi, the proposed facility will be equipped to make lithium chemicals.

It will have the capacity to produce 50,000tpa of lithium hydroxide and 10,000tpa of lithium carbonate, reported the news agency citing a filing.

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In an effort to process more of its national resources, Indonesia had banned nickel ore exports effective from last year. The country is also keen on launching complete EV battery supply chain.

Chengxin was cited by Reuters as saying: “This investment will greatly expand the company’s lithium salt business production capacity.

“After the project is put into operation, it will significantly increase the company’s revenue and profitability.”

In a separate filing, Chengxin, through its Hong Kong subsidiary, had agreed to acquire Argentina-based miner Salta Exploraciones in a $37.7m deal.

Last week, South Korea’s LG Energy Solution and Hyundai Motor Group announced the start of construction of a $1.1bn EV batteries production plant in Indonesia’s West Java province.

The new battery cell factory is expected to commence mass production in the first half of 2024. It will be equipped to produce a total of 10GWh worth of NCMA lithium-ion battery cells every year.