After completing the first stage of its nickel smelting plant in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, PT Sulawesi Mining Investment (SMI) will invest about US$1.04 billion to develop the second stage with annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes as well as a 300MW power plant to support the smelter.

The second stage is expected to be completed in December this year and work will then commence on the third stage.

The plant is in the Tsingshan industrial area of Morowali and the first stage has annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes of nickel pig iron. PT SMI invested US$635.56 million in stage one, which includes a 130MW power plant.

The company is a joint venture between Indonesia’s Star Group eight and China’s Tsingshan Holding Group. An official ceremony was held at the site on May 29, 2015, attended by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Stage three will add another 300,000 tonnes of capacity and will include another 300MW power plant. This stage is expected to cost US$820 million and is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.

Once completed, the Morowali nickel pig iron complex will have 1.2 million tonnes annual capacity with the support of power plants generating 730MW. The value of the overall investment to develop the smelting plant will reach $2 billion and it will employ 5000 people.

The SMI Group of companies is a major player in Indonesia’s nickel industry and its Sulawesi property is the country’s largest single whole block of nickel mining concessions.

PT Guang Ching Nickel & Stainless Steel Industry has also started stage two construction of its smelter with annual capacity of 2 million tonnes and a 300MW power plant. This development is also in Central Sulawesi.

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