Slow Market Emergence leads to Dissolution of Li-ion Capacitor JV

March 23, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Asahi Kasei Corp. and FDK Corp. have agreed to dissolve Asahi Kasei FDK Energy Device Co., Ltd. (AFEC), their joint-venture company for the lithium-ion capacitor (LIC) business, on June 30, 2015. AFEC was established in October 2011 as a joint-venture company to accelerate the development of the LIC market by combining FDK's cell and module technology and production technology with Asahi Kasei's unique basic cell technology, and a certain degree of progress was achieved. However, due to subsequent changes in the operating environment, the pace of expansion of the LIC market was slower than expected, especially when compared to other energy storage devices.

Asahi Kasei and FDK therefore determined that the business would be best managed independently, with each party focusing on its own respective management strategy. Based on this understanding, an agreement was concluded whereby Asahi Kasei will transfer its shares in AFEC to FDK on June 30, 2015.

Asahi Kasei will continue to develop competitive power storage devices by leveraging its unique material technologies, as well as creating new businesses by utilizing its existing energy storage materials technology.

LICs are storage devices that not only can charge and discharge large quantities of power, but also have long life and are safe. Thus, they had been expected to become important in a wide range of applications. While LICs are already in use in applications such as industrial equipment, renewable energy including solar and wind energy, automobiles, and trains, the overall market is growing much slower than expected. Other energy storage technologies have emerged that are effectively competing with LICs.