Japan's Toray to raise its global carbon fibre production capacity

09 March 2012 09:37  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Toray Industries has decided to enhance its production capacity for carbon fibres at its four global sites based in the US, France, Japan and South Korea, the Japanese fibres and textiles major said on Friday.

The company plans to invest a total of around yen (Y) 45bn ($551.5m) in these four bases to increase the annual production capacity by 6,000 tonnes, Toray said in a statement.

“Production at the new lines at these bases is expected to start from 2014 through 2015,” it said.

The company currently has an annual production capacity of 17,900 tonnes of carbon fibres globally, and will increase it to 21,000 tonnes by January 2013, with two new lines currently under construction, it added.

Overall production capacity is expected to rise to 27,100 tonnes by March 2015, the company said.

Toray said that 50% of the total investment will be made in Japan to build an integrated production facility for precursor, a raw material fibre for the production of carbon fibre, and high-performance small-tow carbon fibre at its Ehime plant.

The line will have a production capacity of 1,000 tonne/year and is expected to start operation in March 2015, it said.

Toray Carbon Fibers Europe, a Toray French subsidiary will purchase land at Lacq area from Total, where it will build a production facility for precursor, the company said.

In addition, Toray Carbon Fibres America, part of Toray Industries, will add a new 2,500 tonne/year carbonization line that is expected to be operational in September 2014, it added.

For its South Korea base, Toray is currently installing a production facility for high strength and standard modulus fibre with an annual capacity of 2,200 tonnes which is expected to start operation in January 2013 through its subsidiary, Toray Advanced Materials Korea (TAK), the company said.

Moreoever, TAK is constructing a new 2,500 tonne/year carbonization line at its Gumi Plant No 3, and aims to start up in March 2014, it added.

“Global demand for PAN-based carbon fibers was estimated to have expanded to 37,000 tonnes in year 2011, and it is expected to grow at a rate exceeding 15% a year,” Toray added.

($1 = Y81.6)

By: Samuel Wong

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