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Widodo asks Hyundai Motor to join capital relocation project

With Indonesian leader attending, Posco signs W4.6tr deal with JV partner PT Krakatau to expand steel production

 
From left: Minister of Investment of Indonesia Bahlil Lahadalia, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun, Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chang Jae-hoon, Hyundai Motor Group CEO Gong Young-woon pose for a photo after having a meeting in Seoul on Thursday. (Hyundai Motor Group)
From left: Minister of Investment of Indonesia Bahlil Lahadalia, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun, Hyundai Motor Group CEO Chang Jae-hoon, Hyundai Motor Group CEO Gong Young-woon pose for a photo after having a meeting in Seoul on Thursday. (Hyundai Motor Group)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo requested the head of South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Group to provide clean mobility in the Southeast Asian country’s grand administrative city project during their meeting in Seoul, the company said Thursday.

Earlier this year, the Indonesian parliament passed a bill to relocate the country‘s capital city from Jakarta to the East Kalimantan province in the island of Borneo to level out overpopulation. The new capital will be constructed as a smart city. 

“(I) hope to have Hyundai Motor Group as a partner providing important solutions such as clean mobility to Indonesia’s new administrative city construction project,” Widodo was quoted as saying by Hyundai officials who attended the meeting. 

In response, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun said: “We hope to expand the collaboration with Indonesia, stretching from eco-friendly business to the future mobility sector.”

The two were meeting for the third time. In April, Chung visited the Southeast Asian country to participate in an opening ceremony of the carmaker‘s manufacturing plant there.

The carmaker invested 2.2 trillion won ($1.6 billion) in the plant, located in Deltamas industrial complex, 40 kilometers east of Jakarta. It is capable of producing 250,000 units a year and is the carmaker’s first plant to produce electric vehicles, including the Ioniq 5, in Southeast Asia. 

Last year, Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution created a joint venture to manufacture EV battery cells in Indonesia’s Karawang industrial park. The $1.1 billion EV battery cell production plant would produce battery cells starting from 2024.

Promoting its rich nickel reserves, the Indonesian government has been actively engaging foreign firms to make investments in Indonesia’s EV-related industries. As of 2021, Indonesia was home to 22 percent of the world’s known nickel reserves, with 21 million metric tons. Some 30 percent of the world’s nickel is produced there. 

Indonesia aims to become a major EV production and export hub by 2030, and has been offering incentives and benefits for investment by foreign EV makers. 

From left: Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Krakatau Steel President Silmy Karim, Minister of Investment of Indonesia Bahlil Lahadalia, Posco Vice Chairman Kim Hag-dong and Minister of State Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir pose for a photo after signing an agreement in Seoul on Thursday. (Posco)
From left: Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Krakatau Steel President Silmy Karim, Minister of Investment of Indonesia Bahlil Lahadalia, Posco Vice Chairman Kim Hag-dong and Minister of State Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir pose for a photo after signing an agreement in Seoul on Thursday. (Posco)

Marking Widodo’s visit to Seoul, South Korean steelmaker Posco said it had clinched an agreement with its joint venture partner PT Krakatau Steel to cooperate in establishing a second furnace and manufacturing facility for cold-rolled steel production at an Indonesian plant. According to the deal, the companies agreed to invest 4.6 trillion won by 2026 to the PT Krakkatau-Posco joint venture. The new furnace will increase annual crude steel production volume to above 6 million tons, the company said. The signing ceremony was attended by Widodo.

President Widodo is on the third leg of an East Asia tour. He arrived in Seoul late Wednesday, for his first visit in three years after attending the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit in Busan. The Republic of Korea is South Korea’s official name.

Posco said the Indonesian government will offer tax breaks and incentives for participating in the country’s new capital construction project, based on its experience of developing the smart city of Songdo in Incheon.

Earlier in the day, Widodo also met executives of South Korean companies that run businesses in Indonesia, including Samsung Electronics, SK, LG, Lotte, LX Holdings, KCC, LS Cable and CJ CheilJedang. 

On the sidelines of the meeting, LS Group clinched an agreement with Indonesia’s state-run electricity supplier Perusahaan Listrik Negara to collaborate on electricity infrastructure development and boost technical support in electricity cables, devices and system sectors. 

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
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