Rendered image of Asahi Kasei’s new lithium-ion battery separator plant in Port Colborne, Ontario

PORT COLBORNE, Ontario, May 14, 2024 – Invest Ontario welcomes a transformative investment by Asahi Kasei to build Canada’s first industrial-scale electric vehicle (EV) battery separator plant in Port Colborne, Ontario, further bolstering the province’s EV battery supply chain and cementing its leadership in the global EV transition.

This expansion marks Asahi Kasei’s first major investment in Ontario, which will help the company meet the growing demand in North America for lithium-ion battery separators used in EVs, while addressing an important gap in Ontario’s EV battery supply chain.

The Tokyo-based multinational chemicals company is investing approximately $1.6 billion in constructing the facility. With growth anticipated in the North American EV market, Asahi Kasei expects to make additional multi-billion-dollar investments through multiple phases. Details regarding direct jobs created by this investment are currently being finalized and will be announced at a later date.

Asahi Kasei is excited to bring its Hipore™ battery separator manufacturing facility to Port Colborne, Ontario. With its commitment to EV and battery supply chains, and its proximity to key automotive and other partners, Canada was the ideal choice for our North American expansion.

– Koshiro Kudo, President & Representative Director of Asahi Kasei Corporation

Today’s announcement is more good news for Ontario’s world-leading electric vehicle manufacturing sector and the thousands of workers who are benefiting from the billions of investments being made in our province. Asahi Kasei’s investment will bring economic growth and good-paying jobs to workers in Port Colborne and across the Niagara Region. It’s also yet another show of confidence in our government’s ongoing work to build a domestic EV supply chain in Ontario that benefits workers across the province, from critical mineral extraction in the Ring of Fire to battery manufacturing in Port Colborne and everywhere in between.

– Hon. Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

Separators are one of the four key components of lithium-ion battery cells (anodes, cathodes, and electrolytes being the other three). Acting as a physical barrier between the anode and cathode, the separator plays an important role in maintaining thermal stability and safety of the battery cell.

With battery cells and cathodes already being produced in Ontario, this investment will lead the province another step closer to becoming a jurisdiction that can produce every part of the modern EV battery locally.

Over the last four years, Ontario has become the epicentre of Canada’s electric vehicle supply chain, attracting billions in investments by global automakers and suppliers of EV batteries and battery materials. Today, our government is proud to welcome Asahi Kasei as the newest addition to Ontario’s thriving automotive ecosystem. Thank you, Asahi Kasei, for trusting Ontario as a partner in your success.

– Hon. Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Canada bet big on electric vehicles, and today, the biggest manufacturers in the world are building them right here in Canada. Asahi Kasei’s investment is another vote of confidence in our auto industry and auto workers. We’re creating good-paying jobs, keeping the air clean, and putting Canada at the forefront of this exciting opportunity.

– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

In 2023, Ontario welcomed investment projects including EV battery enclosures, motor core components, advanced thermal management systems, as well as micro-LED technologies for vehicle displays, bringing more skilled jobs to the province and further strengthening its auto/EV supply chain.

Asahi Kasei's investment speaks to what companies in the battery supply chain have already realized – that Ontario is a strategic location to develop and manufacture cutting-edge products for the growing EV market in North America. Invest Ontario remains dedicated to partnering with industry leaders and innovators to lead the charge together towards sustainable mobility.

– Trevor Dauphinee, CEO of Invest Ontario

Today marks a landmark moment for the entire Niagara region as we welcome a significant investment to Port Colborne. I want to extend our deepest gratitude to Asahi Kasei Corp. for choosing Niagara; it is always heartening to see a firm recognize the immense potential and opportunities our region offers. This announcement is a testament to the strong partnerships that exist between the provincial and federal governments, as well as the Region and the City of Port Colborne – this collaboration has been instrumental in making this announcement a reality.

– Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley

Founded in Japan in 1922, Asahi Kasei is a pioneer in battery technology and has been in the battery separator space for over 30 years with five lithium-ion battery separator facilities worldwide. The company currently has more than 48,000 employees globally.

Ontario has emerged as a major player in auto electrification, marked by more than $43 billion in automotive and EV‐related investments over the last four years from global automakers, parts suppliers, and EV battery and materials manufacturers, which are expected to create thousands of new jobs.

For more information about Invest Ontario, please visit www.investontario.ca.

About Invest Ontario

Invest Ontario is the dedicated agency for investment attraction in the province. We serve as global businesses’ partner and one-window access to Ontario, providing expertise and tailored services throughout their investment journey. With a focus on the advanced manufacturing, life sciences and technology sectors, we are committed to securing strategic investments that create jobs, generate returns to the province and drive Ontario’s long-term economic growth and global competitiveness.

About Asahi Kasei

The Asahi Kasei Group contributes to life and living for people around the world. Since its foundation in 1922 with ammonia and cellulose fiber businesses, Asahi Kasei has consistently grown through the proactive transformation of its business portfolio to meet the evolving needs of every age. With more than 48,000 employees worldwide, the company contributes to a sustainable society by providing solutions to the world’s challenges through its three business sectors of Material, Homes, and Health Care. Its Material sector, comprised of Environmental Solutions, Mobility & Industrial, and Life Innovation, includes a wide array of products from battery separators and biodegradable textiles to engineering plastics and sound solutions. For more information, visit www.asahi-kasei.com.

Contact Information

Gabriella Siciliano, Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing, Invest Ontario
Contact: +1 (437) 220-4465, gabriella.siciliano@investontario.ca