Toray Industries along with its subsidiary Toray Carbon Fibres Europe held a ceremony last week to mark the completion of a new carbon fibre raw material plat at the Lacq plant in France.
The ceremony was attended by about 230 guests led by Japanese Ambassador to France Yoichi Suzuki and officials from French government agencies and municipalities as well as those representing the carbon fibre industry.
The completed precursor plant is part of Toray Group’s investment plan announced back in March 2012 to expand carbon fibre production capacity at its four global production sites in Japan, U.S., France and South Korea. The new CFE plant is the third precursor production base at the Group following Japan and the U.S. It enables CFE to move on to an integrated production, switching to precursor produced at its own plant from the material imported from Japan, which will boost its cost competitiveness.
The worldwide demand for PAN-based carbon fibre expanded to exceed about 40,000 ton in 2013 and is expected to continue to grow at a rate exceeding 15% a year. In addition to the high performance regular tow carbon fibre, Toray in February 2014 acquired Zoltek and made a full entry into the large tow carbon fibre business, enabling it to respond to growing demand by supplying products that meet various market needs.
The group aims to further expand its carbon fibre composite material business through active investment of management resources as one of the businesses supporting the growth strategy under the medium-term management program.