Japan-based lithium-ion plastic battery pouch manufacturer Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd. has invested $233 million to build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Linwood, N.C.
The facility will produce battery pouches that encase and protect lithium-ion batteries using "converting technology," a Nov. 29 news release by DNP said.
The durable, soft, flexible plastic packaging material encases and protects EV battery cells, a Nov. 28 news release by the North Carolina Department of Commerce said. The facility will create 352 new jobs in the area.
DNP is expanding battery pouch production in response to "the worldwide trend" to combat global warming and "to further expected growth in U.S. [electric vehicle] demand," DNP said in its release.
"Japan, the European nations, the United States, and the People's Republic of China are actively developing and introducing electric vehicles," the release said. "In the United States in particular, the Inflation Reduction Act was enacted in August 2022 … taking advantage of this opportunity, the market is expanding on the back of subsidies for the introduction of EVs.
"Manufacturers of batteries and components are pro-actively investing in the United States in order to build a supply chain for automotive lithium-ion batteries in that market," it added.
DNP operates two battery pouch production plants in Japan. DNP Denmark, a DNP Group company, is building a production and supply system and has a new plant "for slitting jumbo rolls for battery pouches," it said.
DNP has acquired the land for the new plant. It's also "considering an investment" of $70 million (10 billion yen) to acquire more land near the new factory to start operations of a battery pouch slitting line for automotive lithium-ion batteries in 2026, the release said.
"Depending on market conditions and demand, we will consider the expanding that facility and manufacturing jumbo rolls on the same site," it said.
DNP did not immediately respond to request for comment by Plastics News.
The company expects annual sales of about $700 million (100 billion yen) from battery pouches for lithium-ion batteries by fiscal year 2025, the release said.
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. also develops and produces packaging for smartphones, tablets, and laptops.