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Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP), Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

The Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP), Indonesia’s largest nickel-based industrial area, has raised environmental, social, health and labor right concerns and faced a number of protests related to nickel processing and captive CFPP activities.


The Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP), Indonesia’s largest nickel-based industrial area, is located in the Bahodopi district of Morowali Regency, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia [1], [2]. It has an area of 3,200 hectares and is served by coal-fired power plants with over 2GW capacity as of 2021[1], [3], [4]. The IMIP was established in October 2013 as a joint venture between Shanghai Decent Investment Group (66.25%), a subsidiary of Tsingshan Group from China, and PT Bintang Delapan Group (33.75%) from Indonesia [5]–[7]. Prior to this,  Shanghai Decent and PT Bintang Delapan formed a joint venture in 2009, namely Sulawesi Mining Investment (SMI), which allegedly was already granted extraction rights to 47,040 hectares of laterite nickel ore mining land in Morowali Regency at the time when SMI was established [2], [5]. The IMIP project received financial support from policy banks in China, including China Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, and state-owned Chinese banks including Bank of China, as well as international banks such as HSBC [5], [8]. The total investment in the IMIP reached USD 9.5 billion as of 2020, making it possible for the IMIP to become an industrial compound with its own production and residential facilities, including smelter plants, captive coal-fired power plants, mosques, housing facilities, as well as seaports and an airport [4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP), Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
State or province:Central Sulawesi Province
Location of conflict:Bahodopi district, Morowali Regency
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Thermal power plants
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Coal
Nickel and cobalt
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP), Indonesia’s largest nickel-based industrial area, is a joint venture between Shanghai Decent Investment (Group) Co., Ltd. (49.69% shareholder), a subsidiary of Tsingshan Group, one of the largest private stainless-steel manufacturers in China, Bintang Delapan (25.31% shareholder), a domestic Indonesian firm, and Sulawesi Mining Investment (SMI) (25% shareholding).[1] SMI was established in Indonesia in 2009 as a joint venture between Shanghai Decent Investment Group and PT Bintang Delapan Group.[2] In essence, Shanghai Decent Group Holds 66.25% shares and PT Bintang Delapan holds 33.75% shares of the IMIP.[6], [7]

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Project area:3,200
Level of Investment for the conflictive project9,500,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:7,517 - 15,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2019
Company names or state enterprises:Shanghai Decent Investment (Group) Co., Ltd. (Shanghai Decent Group) from China - Major (66.25) shareholder of the IMIP
Tsingshan Holding Group Co., Ltd. (Tsingshan Group) from China - Parent company of Shanghai Decent Group, the major shareholder of the IMIP
PT Bintang Delapan Group from Indonesia - Shareholder (33.75%) of the IMIP
PT Sulawesi Mining Investment (PT SMI) from Indonesia - Shareholder (25%) of the IMIP
PT Bintang Delapan Mineral (PT BDM) from Indonesia - Mining company that supplies nickel ore to the SMI smelter
PT Bukit Smelter Indonesia (BMS) from Indonesia - One of the smelter companies in the IMIP involved in the labor dispute
PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel (ITSS) from China - One of the companies in the IMIP involved in the labor dispute
Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) from Indonesia - Owner of the project
Relevant government actors:- Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia
- Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment of Indonesia
- Bahodopi district authoritiese
International and Finance InstitutionsChina Development Bank (CDB) from China
Bank of China (BOC) from China
Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank of China) from China
HSBC (banking) from Hong Kong SAR, China
Reed International from China - Shareholder (24%) of PT Sulawesi Mining Investment
China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund (CAF) from China - Owner of Reed International, shareholder (24%) of PT SMI
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- AEER (Action for Ecology and People Emancipation),
- Yayasan Tanah Merdeka (YTM)
- Aliansi Mahasiswa dan Masyarakat Morowali (AMMM)
- Aliansi Pelanggan Listrik Menggugat (Pelita) Morowali
- Aliansi Rakyat Menggugat (Armet)
- Morowali Industrial Workers Union (SPIM)
- Morowali Indonesian Prosperous Labour Union (SBSI)
- Morowali Indonesian National Federation of Workers’ Unions (FSPNI)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Trade unions
Local student groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Other Environmental impacts Degrading seawater quality
Health ImpactsVisible: Deaths
Potential: Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsAcute respiratory infection (ARI) is a common issue for local residents, including kids, in the Bahodopi district.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Militarization and increased police presence
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Negotiated alternative solution
Layoff of labor union leaders
Proposal and development of alternatives:In April 2021, Indonesian NGO AEER started a petition on to urge the nickel-battery industry for electric vehicles to follow best global standards, including stopping disposal of tailings into the ocean and replacing CFPPs with renewable energy.[35] In the petition, AEER also urged the Indonesian government and other stakeholders to no longer issue tailings disposal permits for DSTD and to require the companies to use renewable energy sources, as well as to improve the welfare of workers and working conditions at Morowali and Obi Island where nickel mining and processing is concentrated.[35]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The environmental and health impact on the ecological environment and local communities cannot be reversed, while the scale of IMIP continues to expand. Existing studies also indicated that the CSR programs of the IMIP is not able to meet the basic demands of the local residents or empower the local community, in contrast to the damage to the environment and public health caused by the company.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[9] M. Arief, “The Dynamic of Social Relations and Conflicts in Mining Area in Indonesia Study of Mining in Bahodopi of Marowali, Central Sulawesi,” Int. J. Indones. Soc. Cult., vol. 12, no. 2, 2020, doi: 10.15294/komunitas.v12i2.23290.
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[1] A. Camba, “Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park: how industrial policy reshapes Chinese investment and corporate alliances,” Panda Paw Dragon Claw, Jan. 17, 2021. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
[click to view]

[2] N. Saleha, “Jelajah Bahodopi Morowali, Kawasan Tambang PT IMIP, Intip Foto-fotonya,” TribunPalu, Apr. 08, 2021. (accessed Mar. 21, 2022).
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[3] “Morowali Industrial Park - Wikipedia,” Wikipedia. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
[click to view]

[4] “Shanghai Decent Group Introduction,” Shanghai Decent Group. (accessed Apr. 06, 2022).
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[5] “Tsingshan’s Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park: Build, and They Will Come ,” HSBC China, 2019. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[6] A. Yu, “Case Study: Tsingshan Industrial Parks in Indonesia,” Energy Tracker Asia, Nov. 30, 2021. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[7] Swanvri and A. Al’Ayubbi Pelu, “Chinese Capital Footprint in Indonesia: Dirty Energy and Its Contradictions,” in Chinese Investments in Asia: A Labour Perspective, Hong Kong: Asia Monitor Resource Centre, 2020.
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[8] A. González and E. De Haan, “The battery paradox How the electric vehicle boom is draining communities and the planet,” Dec. 2020. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
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[10] V. Singgih, “Everyone wants slice of emerging Morowali,” The Jakarta Post , Nov. 2017. (accessed Mar. 25, 2022).
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[11] P. Ginting and E. Moore, “Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP),” The People’s Map of Global China. (accessed Mar. 02, 2022).
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[12] F. Nangoy, “Indonesia’s biggest nickel smelter says output not disrupted by worker protest,” Nasdaq, Aug. 23, 2020. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
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[13] ESDM, “ESDM Energy and Mineral Map,” Geoportal ESDM. (accessed Mar. 25, 2022).
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[14] “Indonesia’s Morowali industrial site employs 43,000 people, but only 5,000 workers are from China,” AFP Indonesia, Feb. 10, 2020. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
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[15] Tsingshan Group, “积极践行习近平主席讲话精神 青山承诺不再新建境外煤电项目,” Tsingshan Group, Sep. 22, 2021.积极践行习近平主席讲话精神-青山承诺不再新建境/ (accessed Mar. 21, 2022).
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[16] Tsingshan Investment Holding Group, “Tsingshan invests in clean energy projects,” Tsingshan Investment Holding Group, Mar. 2021. (accessed Mar. 21, 2022).
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[17] “Sulawesi Mining power station,” Global Energy Monitor, Dec. 2021. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[18] A. Sangadji, M. F. Ngoyo, and P. Ginting, “Road to Ruin: Challenging the Sustainability of Nickel-based Production for Electric Vehicle Batteries,” Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Apr. 2019. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[19] Z. Tian, “Energy China signed a 3×380MW coal-fired power plant project in Indonesia,” Seetao, Aug. 09, 2021. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[20] P. Ginting, M. Taufik, and K. Ephen, “Hentikan Kebijakan Produk Nikel Murah, Penggunaan PLTU Batubara, Batalkan Rencana Buang Limbah ke Laut dan Tingkatkan Kesejahteraan Buruh,” YTM, Mar. 06, 2020. (accessed Mar. 25, 2022).
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[21] L. Yoto, “Sukses Industrial Morowali,” Mar. 2020.
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[22] P. Ginting and P. Sampat, “Electric vehicles can drive more responsible mining,” China Dialogue, Feb. 12, 2021. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[23] F. Nangoy and F. Ungku, “Exclusive: Facing green pressure, Indonesia halts deep-sea mining disposal,” Reuters, Feb. 05, 2021. (accessed Mar. 29, 2022).
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[24] I. Morse, “Indonesia has a long way to go to produce nickel sustainably,” China Dialogue, May 28, 2021. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
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[25] I. Morse, “Indonesian miners eyeing EV nickel boom seek to dump waste into the sea,” Mongabay, May 18, 2020. (accessed Mar. 21, 2022)
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[26] F. Nangoy and W. Asmarini, “Indonesia approves environmental study for battery-grade nickel plants: minister,” Reuters, Jan. 08, 2020. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
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[27] AEER, Jatam Sulawesi Tengah, and Yayasan Tanah Merdeka, “Hua Pioneer’s Steps to Cancel Request for Permit to Dispose of Tailings in the Morowali Sea Should Be the Standard for All Companies,” AEER, Oct. 05, 2020. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
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[28] J. Lory, “Korban Banjir Morowali Demo Tuntut Perusahaan Tambang BDM,” Sep. 02, 2019. (accessed Mar. 25, 2022).
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[29] “Rakyat Morowali Teriak Krisis Listrik, Separah Apa?,” Rakyat Harus Tau, Dec. 09, 2021. (accessed Mar. 25, 2022).
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[31] “Saat Warga Morowali Minta Krisis Listrik Segera Diatasi ,” Kompasiana, Dec. 09, 2021. (accessed Mar. 25, 2022).
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[32] S. Y. Tham, C.-C. Kuik, M. Zhang, and C.-B. Ngeow, “Belt and Road Initiative,” The Chile Pacific Foundation, 2021. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[33] IndustriALL, “Urgent need to stop mine accidents at Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park,” IndustriALL, Mar. 08, 2022. (accessed Mar. 25, 2022).
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[34] M. Rushdi, A. Sutomo, S. Pius, G. Risdianto, and M. Anwar, “FAST AND FURIOUS FOR FUTURE: THE DARK SIDE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERY COMPONENTS AND THEIR SOCIAL AND ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS IN INDONESIA,” Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Apr. 2021. (accessed Feb. 19, 2022).
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[36] A. Umah, “Bukan Vale atau Antam, Ini Dia Raja Nikel RI,” CNBC Indonesia, Sep. 17, 2021. (accessed Apr. 06, 2022).
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[35] Perkumpulan AEER, “Petition - Industri nikel-baterai untuk kendaraan listrik harus mengikuti standar global yang terbaik,”, Apr. 22, 2021. (accessed Feb. 21, 2022).
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:EnvJustice team
Last update07/04/2022
Conflict ID:5874
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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