Toray hikes Japan PAN-based carbon fibre capacity

19 February 2008 10:39  [Source: ICIS news]

TOKYO (ICIS news)--Japan's Toray Industries plans to further increase polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fibre capacity at Ehime for a total of yen (Y)16bn ($149m) due to a rapid increase in demand from aviation and industrial applications, the chemical and fibre producer said on Tuesday.

The company plans to build a new calcination line and a precursor line, producing 1,000 tonnes/year of PAN-based carbon fibre, with both scheduled to come on stream in July 2009, it said in a statement.

This will increase the capacity of PAN-based carbon fibre at its factory in Masaki, Ehime prefecture, to 8,300 tonnes/year and boost Toray’s global capacity to 18,900 tonnes/year.

In addition to its use in cars and industrial robots, demand for PAN-based carbon fibre was rapidly increasing for airplanes, as well as environment, safety and energy-related applications, the company said.

The supply-demand balance for PAN-based carbon fibre was increasingly becoming tight with the launch of new Boeing and Airbus jets, Toray said.

Global demand for PAN-based carbon fibre for 2007 was estimated at 35,000 tonnes/year, according to the producer, and was expected to grow at a rate of 15% a year to reach 53,000 tonnes/year in 2010, the company added.

Toray planned to further increase the group’s total capacity of carbon fibre to 25,000 tonnes/year by the end of 2010, it said.

The company is also targeting consolidated net sales of Y170bn with the sales of carbon fibre products and a 38% share in the world market by 2010, the producer added.

Toray is increasing its PAN-based carbon fibre capacity at its plants in Alabama, US, and Abidos, France, both of which are scheduled to come online in December 2008.

($1 = Y107)

By: Tomomi Yokomura
+65 6780 4359

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