JAKARTA (Reuters) – Taiwan-based Foxconn will launch an investment to manufacture electric vehicles and batteries in Indonesia in the third quarter, an Indonesian minister said, amid efforts by Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to become a global hub for EVs.
The iPhone assembler will build a factory on 200 hectares (494.21 acres) of an industrial zone in Batang in Central Java to make battery cells, cathode precursor and telecommunication spare parts in addition to the vehicles, Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia told a forum on Wednesday.
The minister said the investment would reach $8 billion, though Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way clarified to reporters in Taipei on Thursday that the figure was the expected total investment by the five parties in the EV partnership and not just by his company. Liu did not give a breakdown of the investments.
Foxconn last month said it would partner with Indonesia’s investment ministry and state-owned Indonesia Battery Corporation, energy firm PT Indika Energy and Taiwanese electric scooter vendor Gogoro for a wide scope of investment on EVs, including battery manufacturing.
Foxconn has expanded EV activities in recent years, announcing deals with U.S. startup Fisker Inc and Thai energy group PTT.
Indonesia has been trying to court Foxconn’s investment for years but a previous deal agreed in 2015 collapsed.
“Foxconn’s (investment) didn’t happen because it had asked for land and tax holiday incentive before. So I got orders from the president to find a way to get Foxconn,” Bahlil said.
“Now the government has provided cheap land in an industrial zone … close to a toll road and railway,” he added.
Top nickel producer Indonesia has ambitious plans to process its rich supplies of nickel laterite ore used in lithium batteries and eventually become a global EV production and export hub.
(Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman in Jakarta and Yimou Lee in Taipei; Editing by Gayatri Suroyo, Martin Petty and Ed Davies)