ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

Toray to boost carbon fiber capacity 20%

Toray Industries looks to expand carbon fiber capacity by 20%.

TOKYO -- Toray Industries aims to increase its global carbon fiber production capacity about 20% by 2018, focusing on a low-price version used in wind turbines and other applications.

The Tokyo-based company may spend over 10 billion yen ($99.5 million) to triple the capacity at a Mexican plant making the low-end fiber, which also can be used for autoparts. The decision will be finalized as early as this year.

The company previously specialized in high-end carbon fiber for uses such as aircraft, but is now going on the offensive in the low-end version amid growing demand and broadening applications. Toray targets overall carbon fiber capacity of 52,000 tons annually, which would raise the company's leading global market share from around 43% to nearly 50%.

The Mexican plant in the west-central state of Jalisco has been running at full capacity thanks to brisk demand. The capacity was doubled to 5,000 tons annually in the spring, with plans to reach 15,000 tons in two to three years. Mexico then would account for roughly 30% of Toray's global carbon fiber output, up from about 10%.

Toray entered the low-price carbon fiber market via its 2014 acquisition of an American business, Zoltek Companies. Such carbon fiber is more uneven in appearance and quality than its high-value counterpart, but it still offers 10 times the strength of iron at one-quarter of the weight. Toray is devising processing methods to fully enter the market for automotive products.

For high-end carbon fiber, Toray has secured a long-term contract topping 1 trillion yen to supply aircraft builder Boeing and is close to a long-term deal with American spacecraft company SpaceX. Toray plans to boost capacity for U.S. facilities as well.

Toray positions the high-value carbon fiber as an engine for mid- to long-term growth, with the low-price variety serving as a source of steady earnings.

(Nikkei)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends June 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media