SGL Carbon and Mitsubishi Rayon Corp. of Tokyo Japan (MRC) have agreed on a strategic co-operation in carbon fiber. Having recently signed respective long-term contracts, SGL will receive certain technologies, special raw material and support from MRC. This will assist SGL to produce a highly improved Carbon fiber in its plant in Inverness/Scotland.
The unique performance potential of this new carbon fiber has already been proven in pilot plants at SGL and MRC. It combines the performance and high quality of regular small-tow carbon fiber with the efficient production capacities SGL has developed in its plant in Inverness. The new fiber will allow SGL to develop and capitalize on new applications including automotive, wind energy, infrastructure and concrete reinforcement applications, from 2006 onwards.
As part of the strategic alliance in technical and raw material areas MRC will receive in return up to 750 tons of this new carbon fiber from SGL under a long term supply agreement starting from Q1 2006 following further own investments of MRC. Both sides are viewing the cooperation on the development and production of the new carbon fiber as a first step together, and have expectations to further build the partnership. The strategic co-operation strengthens SGL Carbon’s global competitive position in the carbon fiber market especially for high quality products, in terms of technology, raw material and capacity utilization. Furthermore SGL Technologies’ own downstream business in prepreg- composite- and carbon/ceramic-materials (e.g. brake discs) will benefit from the new carbon fibre quality.
SGL’s Carbon Fibre business includes a 100 % owned modern facility of approx. 5000 tons capacity for oxidized and carbon fiber in Inverness, Scotland as well as a 50 % participation in Carbon Fiber Technology LLC (CFT), a Joint venture with Aldila Inc. San Diego/California with further 1000 tons carbon fiber capacity in Evanston, Wyoming, USA.
Both plants were built up in recent years, and include state of the art large capacity production lines. In total SGL’s Carbon Fiber business has a turnover of approx. €m 35 million at present and is expected to grow in double digits over the next several years.
The agreement and cooperation with Mitsubishi, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of carbon fibers and especially of the carbon fiber raw material Polyacrylonitrile (PAN), represents a major strategic step change in SGL’s worldwide carbon fiber business.
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