South Korea’s SK Innovation Co. said it was expanding capacity to produce ceramic-coated separator, an upgraded lithium-ion battery membrane which is a core component in electric cars, at its plant in Jeungpyeong, North Chungcheong, Korea, in a bid to meet growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
According to a disclosure statement released by SK Innovation on Monday, the battery manufacturer will add two new production facilities of ceramic-coated separators at its plant in Jeungpyeong, central Korea. The ceramic-coated membranes are lithium-ion battery separators upgraded with inorganic substances that SK Innovation developed on its own. The ramp-up will kick off at the end of this month and be finalized by the first half of next year.
The ceramic-coated separator is higher in performance than conventional counterparts in thermal stability and durability to reinforce safety of batteries. A battery separator is a key component in batteries, including those for electric vehicles, as it ensures stability between negative and positive electrodes and bolsters power outputs.
SK Innovation in 2004 succeeded in developing the lithium-ion battery separator for the first time in the country and the third in the world, and started commercializing the separator for the first time in the world in 2011. And once the company completes beefing up its capacity, its annual yield will be bumped up to 330 million square meters that can power about 1 million all-electric vehicles.
“The company is mulling adding more production facilities in accordance with rising demand for ceramic-coated separators in the global market including China,” said Kim Hong-dae, head of battery division at SK Innovation. “We hope to become the world’s top by 2020 from current second rank.”
By Jung Wook
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