SK Innovation has become the world’s third largest lithium-ion battery separators (LiBS) last year.
According to Techno Systems Research, SK IE Technology, the separator making subsidiary of SK Innovation, took a market share of 10% in 2019 to become the world’s third, surpassing rival Toray of Japan, which controlled 9%.
This is the second time that SK IE Technology has beat Toray. It shipped more back in 2014 __ Toray was the world’s third in that year and SK the second.
Toray expanded its capacity and beat SK in 2018 to become the world’s third.
China’s Semcorp is the world’s largest separator maker. It beat market leader Asahi Kasei of Japan in 2019.
Semcorp had a production capacity of 2.3 billion meter square per year in 2019 but this will be expanded to 2.9 billion meter square per year in 2020. Asahi’s capacity is 900 million meter square and SK’s is 530 million meter square.
Semcorp, Asahi Kasei and SK IE Technology will likely cement their top 3 spots going forward, taking into consideration their respective expansion plans. Semcorp recently issued new shares to secure 5 billion yuan, which will likely be spent on expanding its capacity. Asahi Kasei is planning expand its production rate to 1.55 billion meter square per year by 2021.
SK IE Technology will began operations of its 670 million meter square per year factory in Changzhou, China in the fourth quarter. Its 340 million meter square per year factory at Poland will be completed next year. SK will secure a production rate of 1.38 billion meter square by late 2021.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Ube Industrial ceded its fifth spot to Shenzhen Senior Technology. China’s Sinoma is also planning to expand its production. Chinese companies are expected to take the fourth and fifth place globally in the coming years.
The global separator market is growing fast along with the electric vehicle (EV) market. For mid- to large-batteries, from 2017 to 2021, the separator market will grow by 32.5% per year on average. Small batteries will meanwhile grow 5.2% per year in the same time period.