Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd.. (MRC, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) has acquired the Evanston, Wyoming carbon fiber site of SGL Carbon Fibers in order to expand its carbon fiber business in the North American market and meet the growing demand for composites in wind turbine blades and automotive applications. MRC’s U.S. subsidiary Mitsubishi Rayon Carbon Fiber and Composites (Irvine, Calif.), plans to acquire all the shares from its present parent company SGL Technologies North America, incorporating it into MRCFAC, by the beginning of April 2017. This addition will increase MRC’s carbon fiber production capacity by 1,000 tons.
SGL Group says the production lines in Muir of Ord in Scotland have been upgraded over the last two years to be capable of producing the carbon fiber that have been manufactured solely at its Wyoming site. This is why SGL Group has now decided to sell its carbon fiber production site in Evanston with approximately 50 employees to MRC.
Combined with the expansion of capacity of regular-tow carbon fiber at MRCFAC’s plant in Sacramento in the U.S., commercial operation of which will commence shortly, and the expansion of production capacity at MRC’s Otake Production Center scheduled in 2017, MRC’s carbon fiber production capacity will increase from 10,100 tons per year to 14,300 tons within 2017. Additionally, MRC will consider to add additional carbon fiber and intermediate material production facilities on the current premises of SCF based on the requirements and growth of the carbon fiber market.
MRC has developed “high-performance large tow,” a unique carbon fiber that supports high productivity in the molding of large components whilst exhibiting the physical and quality properties equivalent to regular-tow carbon fibers. It has been cultivating applications in fields such as the aircraft industry and compressed gas tanks since the launch of operation in its Otake Production Center in July 2011.
Editor PickA tsunami of growth: An inside look at the CSP/Teijin merger
I had the opportunity to meet and interview the top executives of Continental Structural Plastics (CSP, Auburn Hills, MI, US) and Teijin Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) last week. The occasion was an open house and celebration of the acquisition of CSP by Teijin.