Asahi Kasei Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) will increase production capacity for Hipore Li-ion battery (LIB) separator at its plant in Hyuga, Miyazaki, Japan. LIB 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.
Rapid growth of the LIB market is primarily driven by automotive applications due to increasing demand for electric-drive vehicles. Supplying both wet-process and dry-process separators with its Hipore and Celgard products, Asahi Kasei holds a world-leading position as an LIB separator manufacturer. Asahi Kasei has been proactively expanding its environmentally friendly LIB separator business with wet-process manufacturing plants located in Japan (Moriyama, Shiga, and Hyuga, Miyazaki) and dry-process manufacturing plants located in the US (North Carolina).
Following an investment of around ¥30 billion, start-up of the expansion is scheduled for the first half of fiscal 2023. Upon completion, this expansion will raise wet-process capacity to 1.35 billion m2/year and total capacity to 1.9 billion m2/year combined with 550 million m2/year in dry-process capacity. In accordance with forthcoming demand trends, Asahi Kasei will continue to increase its LIB separator capacity to meet the growing needs of customers.