Mitsubishi Rayon Expands Carbon Fiber Production Capacity

11 November 2005

Mitsubishi Rayon is to construct carbonization line with an annual capacity of 2,200 tons at their Toyohashi plant, in response to the growth in demand for carbon fibres.

The investment is expected to be approximately 7 billion yen and the line is scheduled to become operational in the second quarter of 2007.

The Mitsubishi Rayon Group is a leading manufacturer of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) carbon fibres, which encompasses the production of AN monomer, carbon fibres, prepreg and finished products such as golf shafts through an integrated production system.

The carbon fibre market has been growing in industrial application areas as well in space and aviation. This growth has resulted in a steady increase in demand, and the market is now expected to expand to top 30,000 tons by 2009. With expanded applications for pressure vessels and wind power generation likely very soon, together with the emergence of a new automobile-related market, the Mitsubishi Rayon Group has decided to start up the new carbonization line.

As a result of the enhancement, the production capacity of carbon fibres at the Toyohashi Plant will increase to 5,400 tons per year from the current 3,200 tons per year. Moreover, it is expected that work to boost the production capacity at Grafil Inc. in the United States will be completed by the end of 2005, while outsourcing of production to SGL Carbon Group will start in the second quarter of 2006 as planned. As a result of these initiatives, the production capacity of the Mitsubishi Rayon Group overall will expand to 7,900 to 8,150 tons per year.

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