Asahi Kasei increase LIB separators capacity; invests ¥7.5 bn

Asahi Kasei to increase LIB separators capacity; invests ¥7.5 bn

10:13 AM, 12th January 2018
Asahi Kasei logo

TOKYO, JAPAN: Asahi Kasei Corporation said that it will increase production capacity for Celgard and Hipore li-ion battery (LIB) separator at its plants in North Carolina, US, and Shiga, Japan, respectively.

The separator is a thin microporous film of polyolefin placed between the cathode and anode of lithium-ion batteries. It prevents contact between the electrodes which would cause a short while allowing lithium ions to pass between the electrodes.

With increasing demand for electric-drive vehicles worldwide, the LIB market is forecasted to grow substantially in automotive applications. Asahi Kasei holds a world-leading position as an LIB separator manufacturer, supplying both dry-process and wet-process separators with its Celgard and Hipore products.

Dry-process manufacturing plants are located in the US (North Carolina) while wet-process manufacturing plants are located in Japan (Moriyama, Shiga, and Hyuga, Miyazaki) and Korea (Chungbuk). The expansions announced today are part of a proactive expansion of the LIB separator business, in line with the company’s plans to raise total capacity to 1,100 million m2/year by 2020 as announced in May 2016.

Outline of the new capacity expansions:

Dry process

Location – North Carolina, the US

Product – Celgard LIB separator

Capacity – 150 million m2/year

Start-up – Second half of fiscal 2018 (scheduled)

Wet process

Location – Moriyama, Shiga, Japan

Product – Hipore LIB separator

Capacity – 90 million m2/year

Start-up – First half of fiscal 2020 (scheduled)

Total investment for both wet and dry process expansions will be approximately ¥7.5 billion.

When completed, the above expansions will raise Asahi Kasei’s total LIB separator capacity to 1,100 million m2/year, with dry-process capacity increasing to 400 million m2/year and wet-process capacity increasing to 700 million m2/year. The company will continue to further reinforce its capability to provide stable supply to meet rising global demand for LIB separators in accordance with customer needs.

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