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Truck producer taps Chinese defence firm to build EV factory

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 22 Sep 2023, 12:01 PM
Tan KW
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JAKARTA: PT Nusatama Berkah, a publicly listed heavy equipment producer under ticker NTBK, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese state-owned defence company Norinco International to jointly manufacture electric trucks in Indonesia.

According to the agreement signed on Sept 15, Norinco will conduct a study of “major” investment plans to establish a manufacturing facility for electric trucks in the country.

Norinco’s country director Ge Ling Xing said in a statement on Tuesday that he is confident in the potential of the Indonesian market.

The partnership is aimed at introducing locally produced electric trucks under the NTBK brand, which are tailored to the needs and preferences of Indonesian consumers.

To do that, Norinco plans to bring in its subsidiary BeiBen Truck, which was formed through a collaboration with Daimler-Benz to manufacture Mercedes-Benz trucks.

The government has been rolling out incentives to entice electric vehicle (EV) carmakers to set up production facilities in Indonesia. One policy offers to exempt importers from duties on completely and partially knocked down imports, which refer to the delivery of unassembled EV parts that are either fully or partially manufactured overseas.

These incentives are applicable to buses and other kinds of electric four-wheelers.

BeiBen claims to be one of the top-five heavy-duty truck manufacturers in China. Its electric units are equipped with swappable batteries that allow for uninterrupted operation for up to 250km, making it suitable for the mining and logistics sector.

According to Nusatama’s corporate secretary Felik Widyo Makuprathowo, the biggest challenge that the firm faces is increasing the local content requirement, as this would help the sales of electric trucks.

He said in the same statement that the government stated that electric four-wheelers should have at least 40% local content by 2023 and this will be increased to 80% in 2030, as stipulated under a presidential regulation.


 - ANN



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