Polypore International, Inc. has approved additional capital expenditures of approximately $65 million to expand its lithium-ion battery separator capacity for electric drive vehicles.
This capacity, which is scheduled to begin ramping up in late 2012, is being added to the company’s facility currently under construction in Concord, North Carolina. This represents the fourth automotive-targeted expansion since August 2009. When this capacity expansion reaches full production levels in 2013, the Company will have increased lithium-ion battery separator capacity by more than 200% compared to the run rate experienced during the second half of 2010.
We are very encouraged by the early success of the initial lithium-based EDVs [electric drive vehicles] launched into the marketplace, as well as the rapidly increasing number of programs in which we are actively participating. We are actively involved in development programs for over 50 vehicles scheduled for launch between now and 2015. We are working closely with our customers to evaluate the rate of acceleration in EDV demand and the corresponding impact on our capacity needs, and we will continue to make the necessary investments to ensure sustainable growth over the long term.—Robert B. Toth, President and CEO