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Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) to Increase Production Capacity of VGCF Carbon Nanofibers.

Tokyo, Japan, Aug 11, 2006 - (JCN Newswire) - Showa Denko K.K. (SDK; TSE: 4004) has announed plans to increase its production capacity of VGCF carbon nanofibers from 40 tons/year at present to 100 tons/year. Construction of a new facility will begin later this year, with start-up scheduled for early 2007.

Demand for VGCF is continuing to grow rapidly, mainly for use as additives in lithium-ion batteries. SDK has decided to increase the capacity as it cannot fully accept orders despite continued full-capacity operation.

VGCF is a tubelike, vapor-grown fine carbon fiber having diameter of approximately 150 nanometers (nm: one billionth of a meter) and length of around 10 microns (micronmmeters: one millionth of a meter). Addition of a small amount of VGCF to the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries produces the following effects:

1. Restrict service-capacity declines due to repeated charges and discharges,

2. Increase the amount of battery current as a result of improved electrical conductivity of electrodes, enabling the use of lithium-ion batteries in electrical appliances requiring heavy-current discharges.

Lithium-ion batteries have been used in such applications as notebook PCs, mobile phones, video cameras, digital cameras, and other mobile devices. In addition, lithium-ion batteries are now used in cordless power tools that require heavy-

After completion of the new facility, SDK will start producing a new VGCF-S grade (fiber diameter: approx. 100 nm) for use as additive in resins and metallic/ceramic materials. Composites containing VGCF-S will have high electrical/thermal conductivity and electromagnetic shielding property, opening up the possibilities of being used in electronic-components-carrier cases that need to be static free.

Under the new medium-term consolidated business plan, the Passion Project, SDK classifies its carbon nanofiber business as one of the "growth businesses." The Company is planning to increase the annual sales of carbon nanofibers to JPY 10 billion by 2010, by strengthening competitive edges through establishment of mass production technology and cost reduction efforts.

About Showa Denko K.K.

Showa Denko K.K. ('SDK') (TSE: 4004; US: SHWDF) is a major manufacturer and marketer of chemical products serving a wide range of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. SDK makes petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene), aluminum products (ingots, rods) electronic equipment (hard disks for computers), and inorganic materials (ceramics, carbons). The company has overseas operations and a joint venture with Netherlands-based Montell and Nippon Petrochemicals to make and market polypropylenes. In March 2001, SDK merged with Showa Denko Aluminum Corporation to strengthen the high-value-added fabricated aluminum products operations, and is today developing next-generation optical communications-use wafers. For more information, please visit www.sdk.co.jp.

Source: Showa Denko K.K.

Contact:
Fine Carbon Department
Phone: +81-3-5470-3562

IR & PR Office
Phone: +81-3-5470-3235


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Publication:JCN Newswires
Date:Aug 13, 2006
Words:466
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