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Asahi Kasei confirms battery separator plant in Canada; joint investment with Honda likely

Asahi Kasei's Hipore battery separator membrane.
Asahi Kasei has announced the construction of an integrated plant in Ontario, Canada for the base film manufacturing and coating of 'Hipore' wet-process lithium-ion battery separator. In this regard, the company has also concluded a basic agreement with Honda Motor, with the parties studying pathways for joint investment.

Scheduled to be established in October 2024, the Canadian plant will receive funding from the Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) through the issuance of preferred shares. 

Furthermore, receipt of financial support from the federal government of Canada and the provincial government of Ontario regarding this investment is expected, according to the company. 

Asahi Kasei's 'Hipore' wet-process lithium-ion battery separator is one of the company's core technological innovation. "The Hipore business will play an important role in Asahi Kasei's growth over the medium term," added Hiroyoshi Matsuyama, Senior Executive Officer of Asahi Kasei. 

To meet North American demand for battery separator for plug-in electric vehicles and join the battery supply chain in North American, the company has made the decision to construct a battery separator manufacturing plant in Ontario. 

"Capturing market growth in North America will be essential for us. This partnership with Honda, having a rich track record in the North American automotive market and aggressively electrifying its vehicle lineup, allows us to make a meaningful contribution to improvement of lithium-ion-battery performance in light of anticipated growth in the electric vehicle market and the energy transition in North America", Matsuyama added. 

Asahi Kasei and Honda have agreed that it is essential to establish a supply chain for the stable supply of high-performance batteries for the North American EV market, which is expected to grow over the medium to long term.

The partners claim that studies are advancing for the establishment of a joint venture to manufacture Hipore separator for batteries installed in EVs made by Honda and other vehicle manufacturers for the North American market.

Manabu Ozawa, Managing Executive Officer of Honda, commented on the development, "The separator is an extremely important component that contributes to higher performance and durability of batteries that are essential to EVs". 

"We are very excited to partner with Asahi Kasei, having outstanding technological capability and broad expertise regarding separators. This will allow us to realize highly competitive EVs that can meet future growing demand in the North American market", he added. 
Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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