SGL Inaugurates Carbon Fibre Precursor Line in Portugal

SGL Group has celebrated the inauguration of a new production line for precursor at its FISIPE site in Lavradio, near Lisbon in Portugal.

Precursor is a polymer-based fibre which is used as the main raw material for the production of carbon fibres. The production line has been set up by converting and enhancing parts of the existing production facility in Lavradio.

The new line was completed in August following four years of research and development, construction work and qualification procedures. Over this period, in total, 30 million euros have been invested in Lavradio into different elements of the precursor production including the spinning line. As part of the global production network of SGL Group, the precursor from Portugal is being used as of September for the production of our new generation of high-end industrial SIGRAFIL carbon fibres in Moses Lake, Washington State (USA) and Muir of Ord (Scotland). The carbon fibres will then be used in various applications in the automotive, aerospace, as well as in other industries.

In order to further increase value for the customers, the business unit currently enhances its activities offering not only materials but also extensive expertise and support to enable customers to optimise the use of fibres and materials for composites. In this context, SGL Group also sets up a new Lightweight and Applications Centre (LAC) at its biggest site in Meitingen, Germany to facilitate the product and manufacturing technology development from fibres and materials to component.

The completion of the precursor production line is also a consequent and successful step of further developing the business and set-up of the FISIPE site in Lavradio, Portugal. Having been founded more than 40 years ago, FISIPE has established as a specialist for acrylic fibres. Under the umbrella of SGL Group – which acquired FISIPE in April 2012 – the acrylic fibre business is maintained while the precursor production has been set up.

The precursor production is part of SGL Group’s path forward towards sustainable profitable growth targeting a 50% sales increase until 2020 in the fields of composites and graphite materials and systems. In future, the Company will focus on supporting and accelerating developments linked to the mega trends of mobility, energy, and digitalisation.