Nippon Paper Industries announces the establishment of a new manufacturing and sales subsidiary in Hungary


Markku Björkman, 19 February 2024


Nippon Paper Industries announces the establishment of a new manufacturing and sales subsidiary in Hungary for the production of CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose). CMC is a crucial material used in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries (LiB) for electric vehicles (EVs), marking the company's entry into Europe's rapidly expanding EV supply chain system.

CMC is an anionic, water-soluble polymer derived from cellulose, known for its exceptional thickening, water absorption, and retention qualities, making it environmentally friendly. Its versatility has led to widespread use in food and cosmetics, like toothpaste, and in industrial processes, including paper manufacturing.

Creating a uniform coating

Specifically developed for LiB, Nippon Paper's CMC acts as a high-performance additive in the coating process for LiB anodes (graphite). With the surge in demand, especially in recent years, this product is instrumental in creating a uniform coating surface that enhances the safety performance of LiBs, a feature greatly valued by EV automotive manufacturers, as well as those in consumer technology and renewable energy storage sectors.

The EV LiB market in Europe is experiencing rapid growth, driven by strict CO2 emissions regulations and efforts by the European automotive industry to establish a comprehensive EV supply chain.

Creating market dynamics

This development has prompted LiB and auto parts manufacturers from China, South Korea, and other nations to announce the construction of new factories within Europe.

In anticipation of these market dynamics, Nippon Paper bolstered its production system at the Gotsu Mill in Japan in 2021. The company aims to commence operations at the new Hungarian plant in December 2024. This strategic investment is projected to generate approximately 50 million euros in sales revenue and create around 60 jobs when fully operational.

Source: Pulp & Paper