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  • E-One to Begin Lithium Ion Battery Production in 2000
  • January 20, 1999 (TAIPEI) -- E-one Energy Technology Corp. aims to produce one million lithium ion batteries at its new plant in Tainan Science-based Industrial Park in the first quarter of 2000.
    In order to compete against its Japanese counterparts, E-one will seek cooperation with related businesses at home, with a view toward jointly developing raw materials and new manufacturing processes.

    E-one's new plant began construction in the wake of a ground breaking ceremony held on Jan. 14.

    It is slated for completion in three years, with a total area of around 39,600 square feet. The first stage of construction should be finished by the end of 1999, and the plant is scheduled to begin operation in the first quarter of the year 2000.

    The monthly production of round lithium ion batteries for notebook computer use and rectangular ones for mobile phone use is estimated at one million units in the initial period.

    An extra 500,000 rectangular batteries will be added to the monthly production next July. E-one expects to invest up to NT$3 billion (US$93 million) in this plant over the next four years, with a view to eventually producing a total of 40 million batteries annually.

    A spokesman for E-one indicated that while Taiwan is renowned as the world's leading manufacturer of notebook computers, Japan still controls more than 90 percent of the global lithium ion battery market.

    Even suppliers that are not Japanese have technological cooperation with partners in that country, he said. E-one, by contrast, researched and developed the battery on its own.

    It recently offered samples of the battery to local notebook makers for testing in order to let them discover first-hand the high quality of its new product.

    In addition, the spokesman said that the battery will be competitively priced at only 80-90 percent of that made in Japan.

    Many traditional local businesses with diversification plans are expected to seek cooperation with E-one to jointly develop raw materials and equipment for the manufacture of lithium ion batteries. Such a move, the spokesman added, will sharpen the competitiveness of E-one and its partners here at home.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Tue Jan 19 14:59:15 1999 PDT