HHP and Baker McKenzie advise PT Vale on USD 4.5bn agreement

It will grow Indonesia's sustainable EV industry

HHP and Baker McKenzie advise PT Vale on USD 4.5bn agreement

Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners (HHP) and Baker McKenzie have advised Indonesian nickel mining company PT Vale Indonesia as the latter negotiated a partnership with battery minerals producer Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and automaker Ford Motor. The collaboration aims to advance sustainable nickel mining and refining in Indonesia, as well as the electric vehicle industry at large.

PT Vale Indonesia, Huayou Cobalt, and Ford entered into a suite of agreements by which equity investments would be poured into the development of the Pomalaa Block high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) project, a IDR 67.5 trillion (roughly USD 4.5 billion) nickel processing plant in South-East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Subject to the needed approvals, the project could produce up to 120 kilotons of mixed hydroxide precipitate – a lower-cost nickel product used in electric vehicle batteries – each year.

A ceremony was held earlier this March with Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo as well as the three investing companies present, to inaugurate the agreements.

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The entry into these investment agreements marked the continuation of PT Vale Indonesia’s Pomalaa Block ground-breaking in November 2022. The Pomalaa Block project is a national strategic project expected to generate 12,000 construction jobs.

The HHP and Baker McKenzie team that advised PT Vale Indonesia was led by HHP foreign legal consultant Norman Bissett, Baker McKenzie partner Tanya Denning, and foreign legal consultant Luke Devine. They were supported by associates Tom Henderson, Rakhee Dullabh, Laura Matson Louis Re-Matthews, Tesalonika Barus, Ariel Suryawan, Djuan Sihotang, as well as Baker McKenzie's competition team.

“This project will create significant economic benefits for Indonesia as part of the Government's strategy to further develop a sustainable mining industry both upstream and downstream,” said Bissett. “It is an endorsement of Indonesia's ability to attract significant international investment from world-class companies, and a significant stepping stone for Indonesia to be recognized as a high-quality mineral producer for the global electric-vehicle ecosystem.”

In a separate announcement, Ford Model e EV industrialisation vice president Lisa Drake said the arrangement in the Pomalaa Block allowed Ford to source the nickel it needed “in one of the industry’s lowest-cost ways” and mine it in a manner consistent with our company’s sustainability targets, setting higher ESG standards for the company as well as the electric-vehicle industry.

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