Toray to triple French carbon-fiber output

13 January 2003

Toray Industries will more than triple carbon fiber production in France from next year through an 8 bln yen investment in response to growing demand across Europe.

The expected arrival of the Airbus A380 superjumbo in 2006 will fuel interest in the product, said company spokesman Ichiro Maeda. Toray's French joint venture, Soficar SA, will increase its annual production capacity to 2,600 tons a year from August 2004, Maeda said. The firm now produces about 800 tons of carbon fiber a year.

""In addition to supplying our material to Airbus, we see increasing demand for carbon fiber for general industry use, such as building materials and parts for wind power generators,"" Maeda said. Through the expansion, Toray aims to raise sales from its carbon fiber business to about 50 bln yen by 2005. The company posted about 35 bln yen in sales from the business last year.

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