Japanese chemical firm Toray Industries will purchase an LG Chem plant that makes safety reinforced separators (SRS) for lithium-ion batteries.
According to local media reports on Sept. 16, Toray will buy LG Chem’s Ochang plant for an estimated 3 billion yen (US$24.94 million or 29.3 billion won). The company will set up a wholly owned subsidiary to manage the plant, and hire some 100 new employees.
Toray plans to supply the output mainly to LG Chem. The Ochang site will be the third separator plant for Toray, after the one in Tochigi Prefecture and another in Gumi, also in central South Korea.
Meanwhile, the lithium-ion batteries market is expected to expand by more than five times in 2020 in terms of capacity, with the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. LG Chem is a major supplier of automotive lithium-ion batteries, along with Japan's Panasonic. The two alone control about 70 percent of the global market. Customers include General Motors, Ford Motor and Audi. Toray plans to secure steady separator demand by strengthening its relations with LG Chem.