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Hyundai and LG start building $1.1bn EV battery plant in Indonesia

Jokowi says factory comes as nation tries to escape 'trap' of raw materials

Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, at left, sees cooperation with South Korean companies on electric vehicle batteries as a major step in the country's economic development. (Photo courtesy of Indonesia's presidential office)

JAKARTA -- South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution on Wednesday kicked off the construction of a $1.1 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Indonesia, which President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo hailed as marking the country's shift away from resources toward technology.

LG Energy CEO Kim Jong-hyun said the factory will churn out "next generation" lithium-ion battery cells using the company's new NCMA technology, with production expected to start in 2024 and output to be exclusively used by Hyundai and its affiliate, Kia. NCMA refers to nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum-based battery cells containing 90% nickel, which LG said offer a competitive edge in performance and price by using less cobalt and adding aluminum.

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