On March 4, an agreement was signed in the New Caledonian Congress to take over the Vale plant. Tesla is acting as a technical partner in the deal to advise the development and improvement of the manufacturing process as part of a long-term agreement to supply nickel for its production chain.
The Southern Province of New Caledonia, the Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), Indigenous Customary Negotiating Body (ICAN) and the "Usine du sud: usine pays" have signed an agreement to take over the Vale plant. The agreement stipulates that 30% of the plant in the south will be transferred to SPSMC (which represents the interests of the three provinces), 21% to employees and local investors, 30% to the Prony Financial Company (emanation of the southern province), and 19% to Trafigura (the company specializing in commodity trading).
According to the new agreement, Tesla is to become a technical partner for the future plant. In addition, Vale is to sell its €420 million worth of mining rights to the southern province, which is then to lease them to the future operator. “This is one of the founding elements of our agreement,” commented Sonia Backès, President of the Southern Province, explaining that “the fact that these mining rights are leased will allow for the profits that benefit these mining operations." “This will be the first time that communities have received money to build something for future generations,” Backès continued.
Tesla is reported to be able to play the role of technical consultant in the design and improvement of the manufacturing process as part of a long-term supply agreement for its production chain. “Its [Tesla's] commitment will prioritize sustainability, which is at the core of its company mission,” added Congress President Roch Wamytan. Tesla will also explore options for generating and storing renewable energy there.
The new model for the operation of the plant "revolves around three components: control over resources, increasing wealth, and preserving the environment."
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.