US automaker Ford Motor has agreed to join PT Vale Indonesia and China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt for the development of the $4.5bn nickel processing plant in Indonesia.

Expected to be commissioned in 2026, the Pomalaa Block High-Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) plant will be built in Pomalaa in South-East Sulawesi, where Vale operates the Pomalaa Block mine.

Vale and Huayou have already started early site preparations for the HPAL plant with full construction work scheduled to begin later this year.

The plant is expected to produce up to 120,000 tonnes per annum of contained nickel in the form of mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP), a lower-cost nickel product used in the production of EV batteries.

In a statement, Ford said: “The collaboration will deliver materials essential for the auto industry’s shift to EVs, enhance Indonesia’s EV manufacturing industry and support Ford’s plan to deliver a two-million EV production run rate by the end of 2026 and further scale over time.”

The MHP produced at the HPAL plant is planned to be further processed into nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate Li-ion battery materials, and ternary precursor cathode active materials (PCAM).

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Ford Model e EV industrialisation vice-president Lisa Drake said: “This framework gives Ford direct control to source the nickel we need – in one of the industry’s lowest-cost ways – and allows us to ensure the nickel is mined in line with our company’s sustainability targets, setting the right ESG standards as we scale.”