February 27, 2008
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Construction of a new plant for Hipore™
Asahi Kasei Chemicals (AKC) will construct a new plant for Hipore™ Li-ion rechargeable battery separators in Hyuga, Miyazaki, Japan. With a capacity of 20 million m2/year, the plant will raise total Hipore™ capacity to 170 million m2/year. Approximately ¥6 billion will be invested for the plant, with start-up scheduled for early 2010.

Hipore™ is a microporous polyolefin membrane separator placed between the anode and cathode of Li-ion rechargeable batteries, preventing contact between the electrodes while allowing Li ions to pass through. It is the world's leading Li-ion rechargeable battery separator, with a market share of some 50%.

To meet rapidly growing demand in line with market growth for cell phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, and other electronics, the total capacity of AKC's Hipore™ plant in Moriyama, Shiga, Japan, is currently being expanded from 100 million m2/year to 150 million m2/year with scheduled start-up in fiscal 2009.

In its commitment as the market leader to maintain stable supply growth over the long term, AKC had studied the establishment of a second site for Hipore™ production to reduce location risk. The new production base in Hyuga will enable future capacity expansion with the addition of new production lines and reinforce AKC's leading competitive position in the field of Li-ion rechargeable battery separators.
Profile of the new plant
Location: Hyuga, Miyazaki, Japan
Capacity: 20 million m2/year
Start-up: Early 2010
Investment: ≈¥6 billion


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