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Indonesia expects to miss 2022 smelter construction target

Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources forecast that only 52 smelters will be built until 2022, missing the target of 68 smelters, Bisnis Indonesia reported Dec. 6.

The 52 smelters will comprise 29 for nickel, nine for bauxite, four for steel, four for copper, two for manganese, and four for lead and zinc.

Indonesia expects the 29 nickel smelters to have a total input capacity of nearly 70 million tonnes per annum, lower than the previous outlook of 37 nickel smelters operating in 2021 with 91 million tonnes of input capacity, Reuters reported the same day, citing the ministry's minerals director, Yunus Saefulhak.

"After we evaluated, some are showing very slow progress," Saefulhak said in the newswire's report. "If they can complete construction in 2022, we consider those as a bonus."

Eleven of the 29 smelters are operating, with input capacity of nearly 27 mtpa.

The country had said it will expedite restrictions on nickel exports from January 2022 to the end of 2019.