Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution opened a $1.1 billion battery cell plant in Indonesia, a first for the country which has been pushing to become an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing hub.

The factory in West Java province, announced in 2021, began operating on Wednesday, according to a live stream by Indonesia’s Presidential Secretariat office, Bloomberg reported. It will produce enough cells to power 50,000 EVs a year, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said in a separate statement, the report added.

Indonesia has been leveraging its vast reserves of battery ingredient nickel to draw in investment from the EV sector, which has long been a key focus of outgoing President Joko Widodo’s “downstreaming” policy. The country already accounts for 50 percent of the metal’s global production, and its share is set to grow through the next decade, the report said.

Chinese companies Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL) and BYD Co are both set to build manufacturing plants in Indonesia, lured by tax incentives and low energy costs.

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