Linde Indonesia to Build $100 million Air Separation Plant

PT Linde Indonesia, a subsidiary of Germany-based Linde Group, announced its plan to build an air separation plant worth US$100 million to supply high-purity industrial gas to gold and copper mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI). The new plant, which is estimated to begin operations in mid-2024, would supply oxygen and nitrogen gas to PTFI’s new copper smelter and refinery in Manyar, Gresik, East Java.

            The Manyar smelter is slated to produce copper cathodes – one of the key materials used in batteries and electrical wiring – from concentrate supplied by PTFI’s Grasberg mine in Papua, one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world. The smelter will have a processing capacity of 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate per year. Linde’s oxygen is used in the smelting of copper concentrate, one of the first steps in the copper cathode production process.

            “We are excited to support Freeport Indonesia as it expands its processing capacity in Indonesia. Copper plays an important role in the electrification of transportation and industrial processes, and we look forward to working with Freeport Indonesia on this world-leading project,” Vinayak Kembhavi, president director of Linde Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“Linde’s track record for the safe and reliable supply of industrial gases has led [the company] to be our partner of choice as we expand our operations,” PTFI president director Tony Wenas said in the statement.

            Mining companies have continued to explore options for developing downstream projects as the government aims to foster downstream industries for the production of finished goods.

            Indonesia is the world’s largest nickel producer and is also rich in cobalt, bauxite, and copper ores, key materials in the manufacture of batteries for electric cars. The country aims to produce 2 million electric vehicles a year by 2030, both cars and motorcycles. The push for electric transportation is part of Indonesia’s aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060.

July 23, 2022, The Jakarta Post