The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Electric vehicles / Indonesia preps for lithium battery production with low-grade nickel plant

By: Fransiska Nangoy and Wilda Asmarini / Reuters - Posted on: April 16, 2019 | Business

Indonesia’s first plant to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals is on track to start operations by 2020, though the project still needs an environmental permit that could take up to eight months to be approved, the developer told Reuters

A truck transports nickel materials to the plant owned by PT Vale Indonesia Tbk in Sorowako of Indonesia's South Sulawesi province Photo: Yusuf Ahmed / Reuters
A truck transports nickel materials to the plant owned by PT Vale Indonesia Tbk in Sorowako of Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province Photo: Yusuf Ahmed / Reuters

China’s Tsingshan Group and partners including GEM Co Ltd are building a $700 million high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant at the PT Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, a nickel mining hub.

Groundbreaking started in January on the plant, which is due to be completed within 16 to 18 months and will allow Indonesia to export nickel sulphate, a component for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles (EVs).

Nonetheless, some analysts have cast doubt on the ambitious timeline for the HPAL facilities, which are more complicated than other nickel-processing plants that Tsingshan has built.

“We are building it fast because that it is how we model our business to avoid higher costs, and we need also to catch up with the market,” Alexander Barus, coordinating executive director of IMIP, said in an interview.

IMIP is also a minor stakeholder in the plant.

He said construction was currently at the excavation stage and the company is preparing an environmental impact assessment, known locally as AMDAL, which typically takes around six to eight months.

“This is something that we cannot rush,” he said, adding construction would proceed as soon as the developer gets a green light from Indonesia’s Environment Ministry.

According to initial research, it should be possible to neutralise waste, known as tailings, and remove toxic materials so that it can be safely disposed of, Barus said.

“Whether it will be an above-ground tailings or otherwise, we have to wait for the result,” Barus said.

Ary Sudijanto, an official at Indonesia’s Environment Ministry who oversees AMDAL proposals, said the ministry had not yet received a request from the Morowali plant.

Sprawling industrial park

At the plant in the 2,000-hectare (4,900-acre) industrial park, Tsingshan and its partners aim to produce 131,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate crystals, 13,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate crystals, and 27,000 tonnes of manganese sulphate crystals per year, he said.

The industrial park already has nearly 30 jetties operating, giving it a shipping capacity nearly as big as Jakarta’s main port, Tanjung Priok, he said.

The park has 1,245 megawatts (MW) of power installed and an additional two 350-MW coal power plants are currently being constructed.

Tsingshan is already a substantial miner and processor of nickel ore, converting it to nickel pig iron (NPI) to feed a stainless steel mill in Morowali. The company is also building a carbon steel plant.

Indonesia has rich nickel reserves of around 3.5 billion wet tonnes, with around 60 percent of them low-grade laterite ore, Barus said.

“This is good for Indonesia because up to now we haven’t used the low-grade ore,” he said.

Barus said he expects there to be more HPAL plants to be built at the estate once the first is “on solid ground”.

Indonesia’s nickel industry in the next decade could surpass the value of its second-biggest export earner, palm oil, as new investment boosts capacity, Thomas Lembong, head of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board, told Reuters in March.

Exports from the HPAL plant are expected to be worth around $800 million a year and will mainly go to China, Barus said, though the government is hoping Indonesia will eventually create its own downstream industry.

“It will be good if we can be produce (batteries) ourselves, since the only component that is not produced here is lithium,” he said.

Indonesia, the second-largest car producer in Southeast Asia after Thailand, announced plans this year to introduce a fiscal scheme that will offer tax cuts to EV battery producers and automakers.

Indonesia aims for 20 percent of vehicles produced in the country to be EVs and is anticipating investment from carmakers from South Korea, Japan, China and Europe.

Additional reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe