Entek announces expansion plans into Asia


Entek, the lead acid battery separator manufacturer, announced plans at the end of September to expand its operations in Asia but indicated that it was cautious about its strategy in China.

Kirk Hanawalt, co-owner of Entek, said at a local business forum in Lebanon, US: “China is now the biggest automobile market in the world but in Asia, our market share is small today,” he said.

“In America, there are 16 million new cars on the road, compared to 170 million already in use. New batteries for old cars are the market here, but that’s the reverse in Asia.

“Lead acid batteries will be the focus in Asia. Lithium ion batteries aren’t as profitable, in part because China has forced investment and research into that type of product and flooded the marketplace as a result.”

But while Entek was keen to tap the Chinese market, Hanawalt was cautious about basing facilities in the country.

“The government can decide to do something, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s one of our big concerns there,” he said. “It’s a free-for-all. You can do whatever you want to do, so copying things is considered normal. There’s no stigma.”

Entek makes separators for lithium batteries as well as lead acid, and says two thirds of the cars on North America’s roads have batteries containing its separators.