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Celgard expanding again

CONCORD — Celgard, maker of lithium-ion batteries, announced today it will invest another $65 million and add 100 more jobs in Concord.
The company previously announced a $57 million facility and 204 new jobs. The plant is under construction at the International Business Park and is expected to open in July.
This is the company’s fourth expansion targeted at Electric Drive Vehicles, or EDVs, since August 2009.
“We are very encouraged by the early success of the initial lithium-based EDVs launched into the marketplace, as well as the rapidly increasing number of programs in which we are actively participating,” said Robert Toth, Polypore president and chief executive officer.
Celgard is a subsidiary of Polypore International Inc.
“We are actively involved in development programs for over 50 vehicles scheduled for launch between now and 2015,” Toth said.
Celgard employs about 440 people in the Charlotte area and about 600 people worldwide and is one of the largest participants in the U.S. lithium battery supply chain.
Celgard separators are primarily used in lithium-ion batteries for personal electronics devices such as notebook computers, mobile phones and power tools, as well as new applications such as electricity grid management systems and electric vehicles.
The separators help prolong the life of lithium-ion batteries by providing a barrier between the positive and negative electrodes. This prevents short circuits while controlling the exchange of lithium ions from one side of the battery to the other.
Celgard received a $49.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009, as part of the stimulus package, and announced in 2010 it would build a facility in Concord.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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