SDK to Expand Production Capacities for LIB Materials in Response to Increasing LIB Use in Vehicles
Showa Denko K.K.
June 16, 2016
Showa Denko (SDK) (TOKYO: 4004) has decided to expand its production capacity for SCMGTM carbon-based anode material used in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (LIBs).
The range of LIB’s use is rapidly increasing. These days, more and more LIBs are used not only in small devices such as smartphones and tablets but also in large equipment, especially in electric vehicles (EVs). In China, the demand for large LIBs for use in EVs and electric buses has been significantly increasing in recent years due to stricter emission control and subsidies to EVs by governments and a surge in public awareness of the environment. LIBs for use in EVs have large capacities, thereby requiring a lot of materials. As EV spreads, the size of the market for LIB materials is expected to continue expanding, and will be about ¥ 2 trillion in 2020.
SCMGTM has advantages of low resistance and long life, and demonstrates high performance when used in LIBs for EVs. SCMGTM is also rated high by car manufacturers as material to be used in LIBs for vehicles with idling-stop function, which is expected to spread further. This time, SDK decided to expand its capacity for producing SCMGTM in order to respond to a lively demand from our customers. Commercial operation of the expanded production facility is scheduled to start at the end of 2016. Through this capacity expansion, Omachi Plant’s SCMGTM production capacity will be increased by 50%, to 1,500t per year. In addition, SDK started to outsource a part of its SCMGTM production to a manufacturer in China in this June.
In January 2016, SDK also started to outsource a part of its production of SDXTM carbon-coated aluminum foil, which is used as collector for cathode in LIB, to a Chinese manufacturer. SDXTM has the advantages of low resistance and close adhesion to cathode materials in LIBs, thereby improving charge/discharge performance of LIBs and contributing to a reduction in the amount of conduction supportive agents and binders added to cathode materials in LIBs. The demand for SDXTM has also been increasing especially in the field of LIBs for EVs. To meet this increase in demand, it became necessary for SDK to expand its SDXTM production capacity. Thus SDK started to produce SDXTM in China.
SDK positions its LIB materials business as an advantage-establishing business in its medium-term business plan “Project 2020+,” aiming to establish a business model that has competitive advantages in terms of earning power and technical development. In addition to SCMGTM and SDXTM, SDK’s lineup of LIB materials includes aluminum laminate film (SPALFTM), conduction supportive agent (VGCFTM), and binder (PolysolTM). SDK will maintain stable supply of these high-quality products to the continuously expanding market for LIB materials.
◆ Media contact: Public Relations Office, Showa Denko K.K. (Phone: 81-3-5470-3235)