PI Advanced Materials said on Monday that it will spend 73 billion won to build a new polyimide film production line.
The new production line will have a capacity of 600 metric tonnes a year and manufacture polyimide films for use in electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries.
The company said the new line will start operations in 2023.
In November, PI Advanced Materials had announced that it plans to build a production line for films for use in optical and chip-on-film. This line is also planned to have a capacity of 600 metric tonnes a year.
While conventionally the company would add another polyimide film line every two to three years, it was expanding faster this time around as demand was high from multiple fronts, the company said.
When the two production line are completed, the South Korean firm will have nine production lines for polyimide film and one line for varnish in total.
It currently has a production capacity of 3,900 metric tonnes but this will also be expanded to 5,100 metric tonnes.
The newly announced line will be “metal-free”. This means that the line will be designed so that no metal impurities can be mixed with the product during production. The latest ninth production line is firm’s first to apply such technology.
Films used in batteries for electric vehicles and mobile phones require high-purity insulation for reliability, a company spokesperson said.
The addition of the new production line will free other lines to manufacture other products in a need for basis, which will allow the firm to save cost better, they also said.
In the first quarter, PI Advanced Materials recorded 77.6 billion won in sales and 20.7 billion won in operating income, an increase of 25.9% and 40.6%, respectively, from a year prior.
Films for flexible printed circuit boards accounted for 31 billion won of the sale, which was a 21.9% increase from a year prior. Insulating sheet accounted for 26.3 billion won, a jump of 18.2%, while advanced industrial films contributed 20.3 billion won, a rise of 45.7%.
Sales related to electric vehicles, including varnish for motors and insulating films, increased 39.1% year-on-year. Sales for display applications increased 49.5% over the same time period. Those for multi-layer ceramic capacitor increased 292.3%.
Demand was overall tight, while those for OLED was very high, the spokesperson said. Factory was operating at 89.4% capacity, higher by 10.2% from a year prior, during the quarter, they added.