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Mitsubishi Rayon is preparing to meet an expected large increase in demand for carbon fibre by increasing the production capacity of its facilities.
This will be through the construction of an additional carbonization line (with an annual capacity of 2,700 tons) at its Otake Production Center in Hiroshima Prefecture. The facility will produce high-performance carbon fibre, mainly for industrial use, with a scheduled startup of the fourth quarter (Oct.-Dec.) of 2009. The plant represents an investment of approximately 12.0 billion Yen.
The carbon fiber market has been growing in sports, leisure applications and various industrial applications, as well as aerospace applications. This growth has resulted in a steady increase in demand, and the market is now expected to top 45,000 tons by 2010. With the expanded applications for pressure vessels and blades for wind-power generators, and given the emergence of a new automobile-related market, Mitsubishi Rayon recognizes the need to establish production systems to ensure stable supply in the future.
In these circumstances, Mitsubishi Rayon have decided to follow up the startup of the new carbonization plant at the Toyohashi Plant in May of this year (2,200 tons annual capacity) by constructing the new production line at the Otake Production Center.
The construction of the new Otake production facilities has the additional advantage of avoiding the concentration of the Group’s entire carbon fibre production in one facility (the Toyohashi Plant), thereby effecting risk dispersal. Moreover, as the precursor of carbon fibres, which is made from acrylic fibers, is also produced at the Otake Production Center, this plan has obvious merits in terms of logistics. Another reason for choosing the Otake location is that the site is very extensive, and thus convenient for further expansion in the future.
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