Celgard’s North Carolina Expansion to Support Expansion of Lithium-Ion Battery Separator Capacity

Celgard, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polypore International, Inc. (NYSE: PPO), and a leading global supplier of microporous separators used in lithium-ion batteries, today announced that it plans to expand capacity at its existing Charlotte, North Carolina facility and build a new manufacturing site in Concord, North Carolina.

As previously announced, Celgard will implement its lithium-ion battery separator capacity expansion in two phases. In the first phase, Celgard will add capacity at its existing Charlotte, North Carolina facility. In the second phase, Celgard plans to build the aforementioned facility in Concord. Expansion of the Charlotte facility will start immediately. Construction of the new facility in Concord is expected to begin the second half of this year.

The expansion project will significantly increase Celgard’s lithium-ion battery separator production capacity in the U.S. by 2012. It is expected to create more than 200 North Carolina jobs within Celgard and provide more than 1000 jobs among Celgard’s contractors and suppliers.

Celgard could receive up to $18.6 million in cash incentives and tax credits from the State of North Carolina to support the company’s plans to expand manufacturing production capacity within the state. The One North Carolina Fund and the Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program were among the incentives that supported the company’s decision to expand capacity and create jobs in the State of North Carolina. One North Carolina Fund grants require a local match, and this grant is contingent upon approval of local incentives.

In August 2009, Celgard was selected to receive a grant award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the same expansion project. The DOE grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) that provides federal stimulus funding to support the creation of American jobs while promoting the development of U.S.-based advanced battery production for the Electric Vehicles (EDV) market.

"We are thankful for the support we have received from the U.S. Department of Energy, the North Carolina congressional delegation, and the state and local governments. We look forward to championing federal and local efforts to promote a greener economy," said Mitch Pulwer, Vice President and General Manager of Celgard. "This funding enables us to accelerate our investments in production capacity and create jobs here in North Carolina as we prepare to meet the increasing demand of the Electric Drive Vehicle market."

Celgard is a leading global supplier of microporous separators used in lithium-ion batteries and is one of the largest participants in the U.S. lithium battery supply chain. Celgard® separators are used in lithium-ion batteries for personal electronics devices such as notebook computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, power tools, and new applications such as reserve power/grid management systems and EDVs. These separators play a critical role in the performance and life of lithium-ion battery cells by providing a barrier between the positive and negative electrodes – preventing short circuits while controlling the exchange of lithium ions from one side of the battery to the other.