The first phase of the partnership will focus on establishing a nickel sulphate facility in Indonesia for ensuring the supply of the battery raw material to Britishvolt’s gigaplant


Illustration of the gigaplant of Britishvolt in Blyth, Northumberland. (Credit: Britishvolt Limited)

Britishvolt and Bakrie Autoparts’ VKTR division will partner on developing a lower carbon supply of nickel sulphate from Indonesia for the former’s first full-scale gigaplant in Northumberland, England.

The parties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard. The partnership will also be for developing a research and development (R&D) roadmap for battery technology.

Bakrie Autoparts is a part of Indonesian industrial company Bakrie & Brothers.

Britishvolt and the Bakrie Autoparts unit plan to create a joint venture (JV) called Indovolt BV VKTR.

Bakrie Centre Foundation chairman and founder Anindya Bakrie said: “VKTR is pleased to have signed the MoU with Britishvolt and is looking forward to collaborating with the battery pioneer to develop a greener battery manufacturing supply chain.

“The support of VKTR for this partnership is part of the forward-thinking commitment of Bakrie Group, on its 80th anniversary. We embark on a new chapter focused on the 3Cs – Climate, Covid-19 and Capital trends.”

The first phase of the partnership will focus on setting up a nickel sulphate facility in Indonesia to ensure the supply of the battery raw material to Britishvolt’s gigaplant.

The business plan for the JV will initially and mainly concentrate on upstream supply security for nickel through to conversion of nickel sulphate.

The portion of nickel supply to be secured by VKTR for Britishvolt in terms of tonnage and timing will be determined within the next five months.

The partnership will also see VKTR and Britishvolt develop nickel refining capacity in Indonesia. The refinery will be powered eventually on renewable energy.

After the initial agreement is executed by the parties, a study will be carried out into the potential to build a battery gigaplant in Indonesia, and possibly other locations.

Britishvolt CEO/Founder Orral Nadjari said: “Indonesia has enormous, unprecedented potential that will see global investment flow into the country as it aims to become a world leader on the international battery stage.

“I am delighted to be part of Indonesia’s journey to net-zero, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of this partnership with VKTR.”

Britishvolt’s £2.6bn gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland is expected to begin producing lithium-ion batteries by the end of 2023.