Japanese technology group Asahi Kasei has announced plans to invest €238m in expanding the production of lithium-ion battery separators at its facilities in Shiga, Japan and Charlotte, North Carolina.
The company is already in the process of increasing production capacity for the separators to 1.1 billion m2/year by 2020.
In a 21 March announcement, Asahi said the new investment will see overall production volumes rise to 1.55 billion m2/year by mid-2021. The company is eyeing a total capacity of 3 billion m2/year by 2025.
As part of the new expansion plan, Asahi will increase production capacity for its wet process Hipore LIB separator by an additional 300 million m2/year, and dry process Celgard LIB separator by 150 million m2/year.
The move, said the Japanese company, is in response to growing demand for electric vehicles as well as energy storage systems (ESS).
A lithium-ion battery 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 circuit, while allowing lithium ions to pass between the electrodes.