Indonesian President Meets Elon Musk at SpaceX Launch Site [VIDEO]
Image credit: @jokowi
Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on Saturday to discuss a potential investment in Indonesia, reports Reuters.
Widodo was visiting the U.S. to attend a meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), but made a trip out to Starbase.
According to Indonesian officials, the meeting between Musk and Widodo, better known as Jokowi, came after a round of preliminary discussions surrounding potential partnerships and a visit from Tesla representatives to discuss a battery-related investment last week.
Musk and Widodo discussed potential investments and technology.
The SpaceX CEO also previously met with Indonesia’s Minister for Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, at the Tesla Gigafactory in Austin last month to talk about a possible nickel supply deal for the EV maker.
Indonesia, which has the world’s largest nickel reserves, has been trying to court Tesla’s investment for years now to become a global leader in EV batteries.
The country has previously said it is not interested in solely supplying nickel. Instead, Jokowi seeks to establish a nickel-based EV industry in Indonesia that would cover everything from the mining and processing of nickel into nickel metal, to the production of battery components and the assembly of EVs.
According to a statement from Indonesian officials, Musk said there could be room for “partnerships in many things, because Indonesia has a lot of potential.”
Jokowi even wants Musk’s other venture, SpaceX, to build a launch site in Indonesia. However, a report from BBC suggests that the island Indonesia has in mind for the proposed launch site is fraught with probable conflicts with locals.
Tesla has previously overlooked Indonesia as a nickel supplier because the company seeks to source ethically-mined nickel, while Indonesia’s top metal producers often dump millions of tonnes of toxic waste such as iron into the sea.
That said, the country has received significant investment from major EV battery players in recent months.
A consortium led by South Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd., the second-largest maker of EV batteries in the world, in April announced a $9 billion USD investment in Indonesia’s nickel industry that would include everything from nickel refining to the production of battery cells.
China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd. (CATL), Tesla’s largest supplier of EV batteries, also announced a $9-billion investment in the country last month.
Check out a video of President Jokowi’s meeting with Musk below: