Treofan Group, the Neunkirchen, Germany-based producer of biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film, said it has won the first major supply contract for its TreoPore microporous separator film for lithium-ion batteries.
The company has spent a number of years first developing, then commercializing, Treopore film for batteries used in the growing market of electric vehicles. Treofan built the Treopore extrusion line in Neunkirchen in 2013 and upgraded it for commercial volumes in 2014.
Treofan has not named the first major customer, but in a news release said the company is an “up-and-coming Chinese manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electrically powered buses.” Treofan quoted a global market estimate for electric buses to grow by an average of around 20 percent every year between now and 2025, with China accounting for half of this growth.
“The contract marks the first large-scale entry of a European separator manufacturer into this market, which has been dominated by Japanese producers,” Treofan officials said.
Walter Bickel, Treofan CEO said: “The rapidly growing electric car market in Asia offers fantastic opportunities — and we're determined to make the most of them.”
The contract is initially fixed until the end of 2017,said Treofan, but the agreement includes a declaration of intent for the quantity of film supplied to continuously increase, with the goal of it reaching 28 million square meters annually in 2020. This is roughly equivalent to the area of separator film needed for 50,000 standard battery packs, each containing 56 kWh of energy, it said.