Polypore International and Shanghai Energy New Materials Technology have received regulatory approval for a previously announced joint venture (JV) in China for dry process membrane separators for lithium ion batteries. The JV has been established as Jiangxi Enpo New Materials in Gaoan City, Jiangxi Province.

Celgard dry process coated and uncoated microporous membranes are used as separators in various lithium ion batteries used primarily in electric drive vehicles, energy storage systems (ESS) and other specialty applications.

Based on a license from Polypore’s subsidiary Celgard, for technology and intellectual property, the JV will manufacture the separators in China.

Production is scheduled to start in 2022 with capacity of 100 million square metres a year. PPO Energy Storage Materials will have 49% of the equity contribution and SEMCORP will have 51%.

China has the world’s largest and rapidly growing market for EDV and ESS applications. As many countries, including China, enact policies for decarbonisation, significant growth is forecast in these applications and the new JV is expected to capture this growing demand.

The JV will combine Celgard’s advanced dry-process separator technology, quality control expertise and intellectual property rights with SEMCORP’s large-scale operating capabilities and distribution channels in China.

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“By joining Celgard’s specialized knowledge in technology, processing, and material science together with SEMCORP’s operational expertise in China, the joint venture will not only provide a wide range of products to customers but also stimulate further development of the LIB industry overall,” said Celgard president, Lie Shi.

SEMCORP chairman and CEO Paul Xiaoming Lee said: “By combining Celgard’s technology and know-how with SEMCORP’s rich operational experience and track record of producing large-scale quality separator cost competitively in China, this joint venture will position us to be a revolutionary supplier in China together.”

Celgard and PPO Energy Storage Materials HK are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Polypore International, an Asahi Kasei company.