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Japan's Asahi Kasei enters tie-up to tap China's renewables boom

Partnership with local giant eyes growing demand for energy storage units

Separators made by Asahi Kasei unit Celgard. Demand is expected to grow for the product for use in electricity storage systems.

TOKYO -- Japanese chemicals manufacturer Asahi Kasei will start making separators for lithium-ion batteries in China with a local partner, betting that fast-growing renewable energy in that market will fuel demand for storage units.

Asahi Kasei will team with Shanghai Energy New Materials Technology to build a factory in the southeast province of Jiangxi next year, President Hideki Kobori told a business briefing Friday. The Chinese partner -- the global leader in separators -- will take a 51% stake while Asahi Kasei will own the rest.

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