Start-up of a Hipore™ slitting facility in China

September 6, 2012
Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp.

Asahi Kasei E-materials has started commercial operation of a new slitting facility for Hipore™ lithium-ion battery (LIB) separator at its subsidiary Asahi Kasei Electronics Materials (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.

The world’s leading LIB separator, Hipore™ is a microporous polyolefin sheet placed between the battery’s anode and cathode. In case of overheating, the separator provides a “fuse” function by melting to close the micropores, preventing the passage of lithium ions and shutting off battery operation. While market growth continues in mainstream LIB applications for portable devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs, significant additional growth is forecasted in electric vehicle applications.

Hipore™ operations are being reinforced and expanded as a global leading business under the Asahi Kasei Group’s medium-term strategic management initiative “For Tomorrow 2015.” Major Hipore™ manufacturing plants are located in Moriyama, Shiga, Japan, and Hyuga, Miyazaki, Japan, with capacity at the latter currently being expanded by 50 million m2/year for start-up in spring 2013. Asahi Kasei E-materials also has a Hipore™ slitting facility in Korea to process master rolls from Japan, ensuring more stable and swift supply to Korean LIB manufacturers.

The new slitting facility not only provides Asahi Kasei E-materials with an enhanced capability to meet rapidly growing demand for Hipore™ in China, but also forms a major pillar of the Hipore™ supply infrastructure covering the three main LIB manufacturing countries of Japan, Korea, and China. This not only enables stable supply and quick delivery of the product, but also enhanced services to meet a wide variety of needs that are unique to each market. As the world’s leading supplier of LIB separator, Asahi Kasei E-materials will continue to expand capacity in line with demand growth while advancing the global expansion of Hipore™ operations to meet emerging customer needs.

Outline of the new slitting facility

Location:   Within plant grounds of Asahi Kasei Electronics Materials (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Start-up:   August 2012


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