Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of the Teijin Group's carbon fibers business, announced today that its German subsidiary, Toho Tenax Europe GmbH, began full-fledged operation of its fourth carbon fiber production line (Line 4) at the Oberbruch plant this month, after first starting up the line in September.
The 1,700-ton-capacity Line 4 was completed in August 2009, but as a result of declining demand for carbon fiber due to the economic downturn since the fall of 2008, the line's originally scheduled startup was postponed as part of adjustments to the Toho Tenax group's global production in Japan, Germany and the United States.
With demand increasing this year, particularly for aircraft, sports, leisure and industrial applications such as wind power generation, Toho Tenax decided to begin operating the new line to optimize global production.
Toho Tenax expects its carbon fiber sales, which had decreased to about 23,000 tons in 2009, to increase about 15% annually from this year. Looking ahead, Toho Tenax intends to further optimize production in Japan, Germany and the United States to meet growing demand.