Zoltek to expand carbon fiber production in Mexico

This expansion project, together with existing carbon fiber capacity at the Hungary facility, will grow Zoltek’s total global capacity to more than 20,000 tons per year.

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Zoltek Companies Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.) will embark on a large scale capacity expansion of carbon fiber production at its El Salto, Jalisco, Mexico facility starting in 2017. The total facility area is over 680,000 m2. This added capacity will effectively double Mexico’s capacity to more than 10,000 tons of carbon fiber per year. This expansion project, together with existing carbon fiber capacity at the Hungary facility, will grow Zoltek’s total global capacity to more than 20,000 tons per year.

Rapidly growing demand for industrial grade carbon fiber for use in wind, automotive and other commercial applications is a key driver in the decision to expand. “It is clear that the utilization of Zoltek’s carbon fiber is on the rise across a variety of industries, in particular, for automotive and wind energy applications,” says Yoshihiro Takeuchi, president and CEO of Zoltek. “A key part of the Zoltek strategy is to maintain supply availability for commercial markets. This latest capacity expansion will support this strategy as we see continued demand growth in our major markets.” 

By utilizing an abundant textile-based precursor and employing a proprietary high throughput carbonization process, Zoltek PX35 reportedly remains the lowest cost carbon fiber on the market, the company stated.