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News Releases 2014

New Factory Completed for BIOCARBOTRON, Plant-Based Hard Carbon Anode Material for Lithium-Ion Batteries
For the advancement of eco-friendly vehicles in global demand

Apr 8, 2014
Bio Hard Carbon Co., Ltd.
Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd.
Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd.

Bio Hard Carbon Co., Ltd. (“BHC”; Headquarters: Bizen, Okayama Prefecture; President: Nobuo Iwawaki) has completed the construction of its manufacturing factory for Biocarbotron, a plant-based hard carbon anode material for lithium-ion batteries (“LiB”), and held a completion ceremony on April 8, 2014.

1. Background for the BIOCARBOTRON factory

  • Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd (Headquarters: Osaka City; President: Yasuhiro Yamamoto) and Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd. (“KBMJ”; Headquarters: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Hideo Nakatani) established BHC as a joint venture on August 22, 2012, for the production of plant-based hard carbon.
  • The Kureha Group owns production technology for petroleum pitch-based hard carbon anode material for LIB for automotive use. Hard carbon demonstrates superior performance in durability and charge-discharge properties, compared with a conventional graphite anode used in consumer-grade LiBs.
  • BIOCARBOTRON was jointly developed by Kureha and Kuraray, which has expertise in refining plant-based raw materials.
  • While the expansion of the LiB market has been largely due to consumer-use applications such as mobile phones and laptop computers, in recent years there is a rapid growth in LiB demand for automotive applications, particularly for hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • In addition to the petroleum pitch-based hard carbon anode material, CARBOTRON P, currently manufactured for automotive sector, KBMJ aims to expand its product lineup and accelerate user recognition of BIOCARBOTRON, through its 1000 ton semi-commercial production.
  • The companies plan to further expand production capacity to meet expansion in the market of hard carbon anodes for automobiles.

2. Outline of the Completion Ceremony

Date April 8, 2014
Attendees
Kuraray Co., Ltd. President, Fumio Ito
Kureha Corporation President, Yutaka Kobayashi
Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd. President, YasuhiroYamamoto
Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd. President, Hideo Nakatani
Bio Hard Carbon Co., Ltd. President, Nobuo Iwawaki
And a total of 60 other guests

3. Overview of the new BHC factory for plant-based hard carbon

Location 4342 Tsurumi, Bizen, Okayama Prefecture (on the grounds of Kuraray Chemical’s Tsurumi Plant)
Production capacity 1,000 tons annually in the first stage
Capital investment Approx. ¥3 billion

BHC’s new factory

Reference Information

Background for the New Factory
December 2011
Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Kuraray) and Kureha Corporation (Kureha) agree on a basic framework to jointly commercialize newly developed LiB anode material.
The outline of agreement was for Kuraray to take a partial stake in KBMJ and supply personnel, while KBMJ and Kuraray Chemical establish a new joint production company and set up a production and supply network with an annual capacity level of 1,000 tons by the end of 2013.
July 2012
A formal agreement for capital participation in KBMJ is reached; Kuraray and the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (“INCJ”) will newly acquire equity stakes alongside previous participants Kureha and Itochu Corporation (“Itochu”).
August 2012
Kuraray Chemical and KBMJ establish BHC as a joint venture production company.
Based on the agreement reached in July, capital participation was completed by Kuraray, Kureha, Itochu and INCJ.
Overview of Bio Hard Carbon Co., Ltd.
Company name Bio Hard Carbon Co., Ltd.
Representative Nobuo Iwawaki (Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd.)
Capital ¥100 million (50% owned by Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd., 50% owned by Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd.)
Established August 22, 2012
Principal businesses Production of plant-based hard carbon for LiBs
Headquarters 4342 Tsurumi, Bizen, Okayama Prefecture (on the grounds of Kuraray Chemical’s Tsurumi Plant)
Overview of Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd.
Company name Kuraray Chemical Co., Ltd.
Representative Yasuhiro Yamamoto
Capital ¥600 million (100% owned by Kuraray Co., Ltd.)
Established December 11, 1940
Principal businesses Production and sale of activated carbon and other chemicals
Headquarters 39F Umeda Hankyu Bldg. Office Tower, 8-1 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka
Overview of Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd.
Company name Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co., Ltd.
Representative Hideo Nakatani
Capital ¥1,039 million
(50.1% owned by Kureha Corporation, 20% owned by Itochu Corporation, 20% owned by Kuraray Co., Ltd, 9.9% owned by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan)
Established April 5, 2011
Principal businesses Production and sale of anode materials for LiBs, sale of LiB binders
Headquarters 3-3-2, Nihonbashi-Hamacho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8552

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