Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. and Ube Industries Ltd. Wednesday today announced an agreement to form a joint venture to manufacture and market formulated electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries in energy storage applications.
The 50-50 joint venture, named Advanced Electrolyte Technologies LLC, is expected to be finalized later this year, pending regulatory approval.
The joint venture’s first manufacturing facility is expected to be built at Dow’s Michigan Operations site in Midland for startup in 2012.
Dow said the joint venture is another step in its commitment to develop innovative material science technologies to solve some of society’s most pressing challenges through chemistry, including the world’s growing need for clean energy solutions. The joint venture also complements the growth strategy of Dow’s Energy Materials business by adding formulated electrolytes to an integrated product portfolio that addresses the rapidly expanding energy storage industry.
“The growing demand for alternative energy production and energy storage systems places technologies such as advanced batteries for electric/hybrid vehicles and power generation at the very center of the global mega-trends,” said Heinz Haller, Dow executive vice president and chief commercial officer, “Partnering with an electrolyte industry leader like Ube gives Dow the ability to provide cell manufacturers with a robust offering of material technology that meets demanding battery performance requirements.”
The new joint venture will also allow Ube to strengthen its global supply network and improve cost competitiveness for its electrolyte technology outside of Japan. This will enable Ube to take advantage of other rapidly growing geographical segments with its world class formulated electrolyte technologies.
Said Shinobu Watanabe, Ube managing executive officer: “Combining Dow’s material science strength and global footprint with Ube’s expertise in electrolyte technology will deliver significant growth opportunities for both companies.”
More at www.dow.com.