Dow, Aksa form carbon fiber joint venture

After agreeing last December to form a joint venture, the Dow Chemical Co. and Turkey-based Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş. (Aksa) have created DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV to manufacture and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives.

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­­The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich., USA), through its wholly­ owned subsidiary Dow Europe Holding BV, and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş. (Istanbul, Turkey), a ­leading acrylic fiber manufacturer, on June 29 announced the official formation of DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV, a joint venture (JV) to manufacture and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives. Aksa and Dow had previously signed a definitive agreement to form the JV on December 20, 2011.

DowAksa will develop and globally market a broad range of products and technical service support in the rapidly expanding carbon ­fiber composites industry. The JV 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. Emphasis will be on bringing cost­-effective solutions to industrial market applications for energy, transportation and infrastructure globally. Currently, the carbon fiber composites industry is estimated at $10 billion (USD) globally and is expected to reach $40 billion (USD) by 2022.

Aksa’s carbon fiber has been produced since 2009 in the Yalova Factory. The JV will expand on 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. Aksa and Dow each hold a 50 percent stake in the JV, which will finance its growth through cash flow from operations and financial institutions.

Dow chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said, “The formation of this JV is another demonstration that Dow is advancing its innovation and growth strategy and our commitment to pursue high­value, innovation­rich sectors through strategic partnerships. Together our companies will apply science, world­class manufacturing capabilities and technical expertise for innovative solutions that address pressing global challenges, such as improving the fuel economy of automobiles, and extending the life of roads and buildings.”

Akkök Group of Companies chief executive officer and Aksa board chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman said, “Already a world leader in acrylic fiber, Aksa took steps in 2011 in the carbon fiber sector with the target of increasing market share through investment in manufacturing capacity and productivity. With the formation of the joint venture, we are pleased that our carbon fiber technologies and production capabilities in Turkey will be essential to DowAksa’s future as world leader in advanced carbon fiber and derivatives. Carbon fiber composites, which are expected to replace metal as the material of the future, have significant importance in Turkey and around the world for fundamental industries such as transportation (automobile, high­speed train, vessels, heavy vehicles, etc.), wind energy technologies and construction, particularly for earthquake­-resistant buildings.”