The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Toray Industries Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) plans to increase overall carbon fiber capacity 20% by 2018. According to the publication, Toray will focus on low-price carbon fiber used in wind turbines and other applications.
Nikkei Asian Review writes:
The company could spend up over 10 billion yen ($99.5 million) to triple the capacity at a Mexican plant making the low-end fiber, which also can be used for autoparts. The decision will be finalized as early as this year. Mexico then would account for roughly 30% of Toray's global carbon fiber output, up from about 10%.
In 2014, Toray completed the purchase of Zoltek Companies, which produces industrial-grade carbon fiber. CW reported in 2013 that Zoltek carbon fiber products, targeted to uses in construction and wind turbine blades, were reportedly priced at about 60 percent of Toray’s higher-performance carbon fiber. In a blog, CW’s Jeff Sloan wrote: Toray surely saw that it would eventually have to expand into the industrial market. For $584 million to buy Zoltek, Toray does many things simultaneously: Acquires product for the industrial marketplace; becomes, by far, the largest supplier of carbon fiber in the world; and avoids the time required to ramp up new carbon fiber production.
Nikkei Asian Review stated Toray is "devising processing methods to fully enter the market for automotive products."
And on the high-end side, Nikkei Asian Review wrote that Toray has secured a long-term contract with Boeing as well as is closing in on a long-term deal with SpaceX. Stay tuned.
Click here for the entire article from Nikkei Asian Review.