Britishvolt and Bakrie’s VKTR team up for sustainable EV battery nickel
Electric vehicle (EV) battery startup Britishvolt and VKTR, part of Bakrie & Brothers’ (BNBR.JK) auto unit, said on Tuesday they would develop sustainable nickel refining capacity in Indonesia and look into building a battery plant there.
The two companies will form a joint venture called Indovolt BV VKTR, to provide nickel sulphate, a crucial ingredient for high-performance EV batteries, which will eventually be produced using renewable energy in line with Britishvolt’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.
“I am proud to be helping establish a secure supply of nickel to the UK at a time when raw materials are in the spotlight,” Britishvolt chief executive Orral Nadjari said in a statement.
Indovolt will also look at other countries for potential battery plants. VKTR has been looking for a partner to build a 15 Gigawatt hour (GWh) battery plant in Indonesia.
The deal comes at a time of surging raw materials prices, exacerbated by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the international sanctions that have followed it.
Indonesia is a top nickel producer and has harboured ambitions of processing its nickel laterite ore and becoming a global hub for producing and exporting EVs.
Last week, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Huayou Cobalt (603799.SS) and Tsingshan Group signed a deal focused on nickel and cobalt raw material production in Indonesia – home to more than 10% of global laterite nickel ore reserves.
State-owned Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC) and South Korea’s LG (003550.KS) are also building a battery plant in Indonesia worth $1.2 billion with 10 GWh of capacity.
Last month, Britishvolt launched a Series C funding round with a starting investment of 40 million pounds ($52.4 million) from shareholder Glencore (GLEN.L).
It has also secured UK government backing for a 45 GWh battery plant project in northern England, unlocking 1.7 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) in private funding.
Britishvolt has signed up British carmakers Aston Martin (AML.L) and Lotus as customers.