Japan’s Ube to expand lithium-ion battery separator production

29 September 2016 17:45 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Ube Industries plans to further expand its production capacity for lithium-ion battery separators in Japan to meet growing demand from the automotive sector, the Japanese producer said on Thursday.

Ube said that following construction of previously announced new facilities for separators at Sakai City, Osaka prefecture, production would be further expanded by April 2018.

The expansion will bring Ube’s total production capacity for separators in Japan to 250m square metres/year, it said. In addition to Sakai, the company produces separators at Ube City, Yamaguchi prefecture.

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), Ube said.

Furthermore, lithium-ion batteries are projected to be increasingly used in applications such as energy storage systems and industrial applications, it added.

Financial details were not disclosed.

The automotive industry is a major global consumer of petrochemicals which contributes more than a third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle. ICIS tracks the movement of petrochemical raw material costs in auto production both globally and regionally with the weighted ICIS Basket of Automotive Petrochemicals (IBAP).

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By Stefan Baumgarten