Nikkei. Asahi Kasei Corp. and Mitsubishi Plastics Inc. said separately that they will strengthen their operations for lithium-ion battery separators.
Asahi Kasei will invest 9 billion yen [US$94.2 million] to double production capacity by spring 2010 at two domestic sites—an existing plant in Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, and a facility under construction in Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture. This will bring annual output capabilities to roughly 200 million sq. meters. Asahi Kasei, the global leader in this field, intends to boost its market share to 60% from the current 50%.
The Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. unit will spend 1 billion yen [US$10.5 million] to start mass production of such separators at its Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, plant next summer. Output capacity will come to 12 million sq. meters a year.