The Coal Trader

Coal Mining Nickel Smelting Indonesia

Indonesian Coal Miner Harum Energy Acquires Stake in Nickel Plant

PT Harum Energy has made a significant acquisition, securing a controlling stake in a nickel processing plant, aligning with a broader trend wherein Indonesian coal miners are venturing into metals critical to the energy transition. This strategic move saw the miner acquiring a 51% interest in PT Blue Sparking Energy by converting a portion of its loan to the company into equity, as per a disclosure filed with the stock exchange. The nickel refiner, in turn, issued new shares valued at approximately $206 million in exchange for this transaction.

Situated in an industrial park in Weda Bay, North Maluku province, PT Blue Sparking Energy is in the process of developing a high-pressure acid leach plant. This facility is geared towards producing a variant of nickel with lower carbon emissions, highly sought after by electric vehicle manufacturers keen on promoting sustainability. This latest endeavor marks PT Harum Energy’s foray into battery metals, following its recent increase in stake in Westrong Metal Industry, an entity operating a nickel smelter also located in Weda Bay, in January.

Indonesian coal miners are increasingly pivoting towards diversification, leveraging their earnings from the fossil fuel to safeguard their businesses amidst the escalating momentum of the energy transition. Notably, PT Adaro Energy Indonesia has embarked on the construction of an aluminum smelter in Kalimantan, signaling a strategic shift towards non-coal ventures. Similarly, PT Indika Energy and PT United Tractors ventured into non-coal mining assets through strategic stake acquisitions in the preceding year.

This strategic maneuver by PT Harum Energy underscores the company’s proactive stance towards future-proofing its operations and capitalizing on emerging market dynamics. By expanding its footprint into the realm of battery metals, particularly nickel, PT Harum Energy is strategically positioning itself to capitalize on the burgeoning demand driven by the burgeoning electric vehicle industry and broader sustainability initiatives.

PT Harum Energy Tbk, established in 1995, is a holding company boasting a diverse portfolio encompassing coal and mineral mining, as well as logistics and processing operations situated in East Kalimantan and North Maluku, Indonesia. A key strength of the company lies in its vertically integrated production chain, which not only facilitates operational efficiency but also empowers the company to navigate the cyclical nature of the coal business in both domestic and international markets. Through unwavering commitment to excellence, PT Harum Energy has successfully marketed its coal to various Asian nations including China, Thailand, Bangladesh, South Korea, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Moreover, the company is currently embarking on a strategic expansion into the mining and processing of nickel ore, a move expected to bolster its contribution to the market in the coming years.

By Francis Stokes