The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich., USA), joint venture DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings B.V. (Midland, Mich.; Istanbul, Turkey), Russian nanotech firm RUSNANO (Moscow, Russia), and Holding Company Composite (HCC, Moscow, Russia) announced on Jan. 28 the signing of a memorandum of intent (MOI) to develop a comprehensive strategy to launch production of carbon fiber intermediates, composite materials and solutions in Russia.
The strategy presupposes potential investments in Prepreg‐ACM and Nanotechnology Center of Composite, two Russian companies with co‐investment in RUSNANO. The parties have agreed to explore opportunities in the areas of aerospace, infrastructure, energy, oil and gas and transportation, and to explore supplying the Russian domestic and global markets.
The document signed is another important milestone in the parties’ cooperation, emphasizing the intentions earlier outlined in the 2011 MOU between Dow and RUSNANO on potential joint projects in the areas of energy efficiency, infrastructure, lightweight materials, and life sciences, as well as plans by DowAksa and HCC to consider carbon fiber manufacturing in Russia.
The 2013 MOI was signed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and CEO; Anatoly Chubais, RUSNANO CEO and chairman of Executive Board; Leonid Melamed, CEO of HCC; Heinz Haller, Dow’s executive vice president, chief commercial officer, president Dow Europe, Middle East and Africa and chairman of DowAksa Board of Directors; and Mehmet Ali Berkman, chairman of Aksa Board and deputy chairman of DowAksa Board of Directors. At the meeting preceding the signing ceremony, Dow and RUSNANO discussed potential cooperation between Dow and RM Nanotech, a RUSNANO portfolio company.
“The signing of the MOI on potential manufacturing of carbon fiber intermediates in Russia marks a significant step forward in Dow’s innovation and growth strategy, and strengthens our commitment to addressing the needs of growing emerging geographies such as Russia,” says Liveris. “Collaborating with the strong local players and leveraging DowAksa capabilities, we will contribute Dow’s expertise in composites technology, formulation, and technical service as well as global market knowledge and channels.”
"DowAksa which has entered into carbon fiber business in 2009 by developing its own technology is a potential leader in the production of carbon fiber and carbon fiber intermediates, and our engagement with the Russian domestic companies will bring new investments to the Russian market and may enable the local production of high quality composite materials which are extremely valuable for downstream high‐tech manufacturing. I believe that this collaboration will place DowAksa and Turkey in Advanced Materials league in which only few countries currently exist,” says Berkman.
“With this agreement, we open a pathway to our portfolio companies for business and technological partnership with Dow Chemical—the acknowledged leader in innovations in chemical industry,” says Chubais. “The agreement will enable our companies to spurt ahead in the rapidly evolving realm of carbon composite materials and to find new solutions to increasingly complex engineering challenges.”
“During 2013 I believe we’ll be able to reach strategic agreement on DowAksa’s investment in our project and set up the partnership that will promote our products in Russia, the CIS, and international markets,” says Melamed.