Ube Industries will increase battery separator production capacity by 25% at its Sakai plant near Osaka, Japan. The microporous polyethylene film is used in lithium-ion batteries that power electric and hybrid vehicles. Japanese chemical producers are investing heavily in battery materials. Last month, for example, Sumitomo Chemical said it would boost separator capacity at its plant in Daegu, South Korea. Last year, Toray Industries bought an LG Chem plant in South Korea that makes battery separators.