Dow, Aksa form carbon fiber joint venture

Under terms of the agreement, Dow and Aksa will each hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture; total investment in the project is expected to reach $1 billion in five years and create up to 1,000 employment opportunities.

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The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich., USA), through its wholly- owned subsidiary Dow Europe GmbH, and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş. (Istanbul, Turkey), on Dec. 20 signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to manufacture and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives.

The joint venture will develop and globally market a broad range of products and technical service support in the rapidly expanding carbon fiber composites industry. Currently, the carbon fiber composites industry is estimated at $10 billion (USD) globally and is expected to reach $40 billion (USD) by 2022.

Under terms of the agreement, Dow and Aksa will each hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. Following initial equity investments from the two companies, the JV will finance its growth through cash flow from operations and financial institutions. Total investment in the project, including third party investments, is expected to reach $1 billion (USD) in five years and create up to 1,000 employment opportunities.

The JV will expand on Aksa’s existing carbon fiber production assets in Yalova, Turkey, and will capture growth by creating a large-scale, integrated production capability for the manufacture and supply of advanced carbon fiber technologies. The venture will have a particular focus on bringing solutions to market that reduce overall costs, thereby enhancing economics and driving adoption in a broader array of markets.

Dow chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said, “This partnership with Aksa is another strong example of how Dow is advancing its innovation and growth strategy, and demonstrates our unwavering commitment to invest in high-value, innovation-rich sectors through strategic partnerships. Together our companies will apply science, world-class manufacturing capabilities and technical expertise to deliver innovative solutions that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as increasing the energy capture of wind turbines, improving the fuel economy of automobiles, and extending the life of roads and buildings.”

Akkök Group of Companies CEO and Aksa Board chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman said, “Making Turkey the second biggest acrylic fiber market in the world with its leading position in technical fiber and production capacity in acrylic fiber, AKSA has achieved an important position in the international market with the carbon fiber. Carbon fiber composites, which will replace metal as the material of the future, have significant importance for fundamental industries in Turkey such as transportation (automobile, high-speed train, vessels, heavy vehicles, etc.), wind energy technologies and construction, particularly for earthquake-resistant buildings. The recognition of carbon fiber and carbon fiber composites within the scope of strategically important industries will enable Aksa and Dow to expand their joint investment targets and create significant economic value and employment for Yalova. In addition, this cooperation will contribute to 2023 targets of the Government of Republic of Turkey by creating significant added value and employment in energy efficiency, renewable energy, infrastructure investments and increasing exports.”

Executive vice-president and chief commercial officer Heinz Haller said, “This joint venture will leverage Dow’s expertise in composites technology, formulation, and technical service as well as market knowledge and channels. Upon completion, the joint venture will be the carbon fiber composites industry’s only large-scale, full-service, integrated solution provider, serving the emerging needs of the world’s leading industries. With this agreement, we aim to create competitive advantage in the global markets in which carbon fiber composites are used.”

İlker Aycı, president of Turkey’s Investment Support and Promotion Agency, said, “This joint venture represents advancement for Turkey’s industrial and economic diversification into strategically important critical industries aimed at providing value-added solutions to significant and expanding regional and global markets. We are pleased about the formation of an enterprise that will meet the increasing demand for fiber composite technology and bring an opportunity for significant impact on the expansion of value-added exports.”

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