The Bonn location of SGL Group - The Carbon Company - today witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new production center for the manufacture of isostatic graphite.
Jürgen Nimptsch, the mayor of the city of Bonn, Annette Schwolen-Flümann, district mayor for Bad Godesberg and Victoria Appelbe, economic development spokeswoman for the city of Bonn, took part alongside representatives from SGL Group. Construction is scheduled to start in September while work on the production facility will be completed by the end of 2012.
Dr. Gerd Wingefeld, Member of the Executive Board of SGL Group said: "The investment in the new production center for isographite is a pledge to the Bonn site, which we will continue to develop into a high technology location. As part of our multiyear investment program, we will triple our production capacity around the world and thereby consolidate our leading global position in this growth market."
Over the next two years, Bonn will see the construction of a new 3,500 m² production center for isostatic graphite. The plant will incorporate milling and mixing facilities and, as a centerpiece, a large press with a weight of 800 t. In addition to state-of-the-art technology, the planning for this major investment also includes the process technology developed over decades at the Bonn location.
The new, cutting-edge green production project will enable SGL Group to meet growing customer demand for large molded isostatic graphite components. As a result, SGL Group's capacity for isostatic graphite will therefore be increased from 5,000 to 15,000 t p.a. worldwide in the coming years.
The specific investment in the Bonn location is part of an extensive program of investment along the global value chain for isostatic graphite. SGL Group will invest around €75 million in expanding its capacity and ongoing technological development by 2012. In addition to increasing production in Bonn, the program also includes investments in the Chinese locations of Yangquan (baking and graphitizing) and Shanghai (machining, purification and coating). This is in line with SGL Group's strategy to supply local growth markets such as those in Asia - mainly China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan - from their own local production sites. SGL Group continues to further expand its strong global technology position in these rapidly growing markets.
Isostatic graphite is essential, for the production of ultra-pure polysilicon and silicon monocrystals for the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries. Graphite components are also needed in the manufacture of LEDs.