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Toray building plant for electric-car battery parts in Europe

As world goes electric, Japanese group plans to spend $1bn through 2020

Toray's new factory will make separators, films that prevent battery short circuits.

TOKYO -- Japan's Toray Industries will build a European plant to make parts for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, part of a 120 billion yen ($1.08 billion) spending plan through around 2020 that comes as the world gears up to leave fossil-fuel cars behind.

The materials giant's factory will produce separators -- films that partition batteries' positive and negative electrodes to prevent short circuits. Toray is the world's No. 2 maker of separators behind Japanese compatriot Asahi Kasei.

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