Ube Industries increase lithium-ion battery capacity in Japan

Ube Industries to increase lithium-ion battery capacity in Japan

11:17 AM, 29th September 2016
Ube Industries to increase lithium-ion battery capacity in Japan

TOKYO, JAPAN: In order to meet the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries used in automobiles, Ube Industries Ltd has decided to increase its capacity at its factory in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture (Japan).

The growth will take place after the current construction of new manufacturing plant, which is expected to be completed in April 2018. This brings the combined total production capacity for separators at the Ube Chemical Factory and Sakai Factory to 250 million square meters per annum.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries used in automotive applications is projected to grow significantly, for use in hybrid vehicles (HVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), and electric vehicles (EVs), with actual demand growing at this time. Moreover, also used in applications such as energy storage systems and industrial applications.

Ube Industries manufactures separators using a dry process and its separators are already widely used in automobiles. In 2011, Ube Industries and Hitachi Maxell Ltd started Ube Maxell Co Ltd, as a joint venture to manufacture high-performance coated separator films. Ube Maxell is recording steady growth in sales volumes of high-performance coated separator films in markets in and outside of Japan, including being used in lithium-ion batteries for the fourth-generation Toyota Prius.

The company has positioned the separators business as an active growth business under its latest medium-term management plan that it began implementing in the current fiscal year. By expanding production capacity for separators in a timely manner to meet growing demand, Ube Industries will further enhance its presence in the growing market for automotive applications. Ube Industries plans to increase its total annual production capacity for separators to 300 million square meters by around 2020.

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