Ube Industries, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation have agreed to a tie-up for their electrolyte businesses in China under a 50-50 joint venture to supply highly competitive electrolyte to the market. The JV will enable the two companies to combine their production technologies and mutually to use their technology resources including intellectual property, in order to enhance their technologies and cost competitiveness.
Ube Industries and Mitsubishi Chemical will apply for approval from government authorities in China and other relevant countries. Upon securing the necessary approvals, the two companies will shift their electrolyte businesses in China to a joint operation in April 2017.
Provided that the two companies are in compliance with competition laws for relevant countries, Ube Industries and Mitsubishi Chemical will consider the possibility of comprehensive business tie-ups including for development and production, in other countries and regions besides China.
Ube Industries manufactures electrolyte (“Purelyte”) at the Sakai Factory located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, and at a plant located in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu Province, China. The annual production capacity is 10,000 tonnes in Japan and 5,000 tonnes in China.
Mitsubishi Chemical manufactures electrolyte (“Sol-Rite”) at the Yokkaichi Plant located in Mie Prefecture, Japan; a plant located in Stockton-on-Tees, the UK; a plant located in Memphis, TN; and a plant located in Changshu, Jiangsu, China. The annual production capacity is 13,500 tonnes in Japan and each 10,000 tonnes in the UK, USA, and China.
The market for lithium-ion batteries used in automobiles is rapidly growing in China, driven by government subsidy policies. Demand for battery materials including electrolytes is also sharply increasing, amid an increasingly competitive market.