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Asahi Kasei to increase production capacity for LIB separators in the U.S. and Japan

By Mary Page Bailey |

Asahi Kasei Corp. (Tokyo, Japan; www.asahi-kasei.co.jp) will increase production capacity for Celgard and Hipore Li-ion battery (LIB) separator* at its plants in North Carolina and Shiga, Japan, respectively.

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 U.S. (North Carolina) while wet-process manufacturing plants are located in Japan (Moriyama, Shiga, and Hyuga, Miyazaki) and Korea (Chungbuk). The expansions announced here 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.

In North Carolina, the facility’s capacity will expand to 150 million m2/year with startup scheduled in the second half of fiscal 2018.

In Shiga, the Hipore facility will be expanded to 90 million m2/year with startup scheduled in the first half of fiscal 2020.

The 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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