E-one Energy Technology Corp. (Taipei) plans to produce one million lithium-ion batteries at its new plant in Tainan Science-based industrial park the first quarter of 2000, according to news reports. The company reportedly will seek cooperation with related Taiwanese businesses, with a goal of jointly developing raw materials and new manufacturing processes, in order to compete effectively against Japanese battery firms.E-one's new manufacturing plant began construction in January 1999, with completion scheduled in three years for a total area of about 39,600 square feet. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed by the end of 1999, allowing the plant to begin operation is the first quarter of 2000. Monthly production of round li-ion batteries for notebook computer use and rectangular batteries for mobile phone use is expected to be 1 million units in the initial period. An extra 500,000 rectangular batteries will be added to the monthly production in July 2000.E-one reportedly plans to invest up to NT$3 billion (US$93 million) in the plant over the next four years, with a goal of eventually producing 40 million batteries a year. A company spokesperson noted that, while Taiwan is the world's leading manufacturer of notebook computers, Japan still controls more than 90 percent of the global lithium-ion battery market. Even non-Japanese suppliers, he stated, have technological cooperation with partners in that country. E-one, by contrast, researched and developed its battery on its own. The spokesman stated that E-one's battery, which is being offered for sampling to local notebook makers, will be competitively priced at 80-90 percent of the cost of those made in Japan.