USA/Japan: Li-Ion Battery Separators Asahi Kasei Expands Global Capacity for LIB Separators
Asahi Kasei will increase production capacity for Celgard and Hipore Li-ion battery (LIB) separator at its plants in North Carolina, the US, and Shiga, Japan, respectively.
Tokyo/Japan — With increasing demand for electric-drive vehicles worldwide, the LIB market for automotive applications is forecast to grow substantially. As a LIB separator manufacturer, Asahi Kasei supplies both dry-process (Celgard) and wet-process separators (Hipore). These separators are thin microporous film of polyolefin placed between the cathode and anode of lithium-ion batteries. They prevents contact between the electrodes which would cause a short, while allowing lithium ions to pass between the electrodes.
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 facility in North Carolina will have a capacity of 150 million m2/year of Celgard LIB separator. Start-up is scheduled for the second half of fiscal 2018. The Japanese location will produce Hipore LIB separators and has a capacity of 90 million m2/year. Start-up of this plant is scheduled for the first half of fiscal 2020. Total investment for both wet and dry process expansions will be approximately ¥ 7.5 billion. (approx. $ 68 million)
When completed, the expansions will raise the company’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.