Toray have today announced it has purchased the remaining shares in Société des Fibres de Carbone S.A. (SOFICAR).
SOFICA is a subsidiary engaged in the manufacture and sales of carbon fibre in France, Toray had previously held a a 70% stake while Arkema the French business partner held the other 30%.
Along with the purchase of the remaining stake, Toray is renaming SOFICAR as Toray Carbon Fibres Europe S.A. in order to show its commitment to European customers as the Toray group company.
SOFICAR currently has a carbon fibre production capacity of 5,200 tons a year and global demand for polyacrylonitrile(PAN)-based carbon fibre in 2011 is estimated to reach almost 40,000 tons and it is expected to continue growing significantly at an annual rate exceeding 15%. In anticipation of expansion of the carbon fibre market, Toray Group is to accelerate application developments in the fields of aerospace, sporting goods and general industry and expand its carbon fibre composite materials business through strengthening the production network to be based on the current three sites in Japan, France and the U.S. plus Republic of Korea from 2013.
SOFICAR was established in 1982 as a joint venture with Elf Aquitaine (investment ratio: 35% by Toray and 65% by Elf Aquitaine). Since Toray increased its stake to 70% in 1988, SOFICAR has been expanding its business as the strategic base of Toray’s carbon fibre composite materials business in Europe.[connections id=’23,24′]