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Polypore and SEMCORP establish JV in China for dry-process lithium-ion battery separators

Fri, 10/01/2021 - 11:02 -- paul Crompton

A joint venture to produce up to 1 billion m2/year of dry-process lithium-ion battery separators in China by 2028 has been established by a joint Japanese and Chinese partnership.

The joint venture (JV) was established by Polypore International (Polypore)—  A wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Asahi Kasei— and China’s Shanghai Energy New Materials Technology (SEMCORP) 

Production by the JV is scheduled to start next year with a capacity of 100 million m2/year, with plans to raise capacity to 1 billion m2/year by around 2028 in line with demand growth. 

The joint venture will manufacture and sell dry-process separator in China for energy storage systems (ESS) and electric vehicle (EV) batteries. 

The technology and intellectual property related to dry-process polypropylene (PP) separator will be based on a license from Polypore’s subsidiary Celgard.

The JV will leverage Celgard’s technology in combination with SEMCORP’s production process control and cost control capabilities in China. 

The agreement for the establishment of the joint venture was reached in January 2021, but only just confirmed.

Celgard president Lie Shi said that by joining each company’s specialisms, the joint venture would provide a wide range of solutions to customers and stimulate further development of the LIB industry overall.

SEMCORP is China’s leading manufacturer of wet-process LIB separator, with six manufacturing sites in China having a total production capacity of 3.5 billion m2/year. 

SEMCORP chairman and CEO Paul Xiaoming Lee said: “This joint venture will let us capture a huge opportunity in the ESS market with dry-process separator. 

“By combining Celgard’s highest-level technology and know-how with SEMCORP’s rich operational experience in China, track record of mass-producing high-quality separator, and cost-competitiveness, this joint venture with Polypore will be a revolutionary supplier of dry-process separator.” 

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