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Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has signed a technology agreement with Montefibre granting it, and its affiliates, an extensive international licence on carbon fibre technology developed by Montefibre.
SABIC will use the technology to build a carbon fibre plant in Saudi Arabia which, they explain, will enable them to serve the demand for carbon fibre and composites in markets such as alternative energy, transportation and infrastructure. Once complete, SABIC expect the carbon fibre project to establish a domestic supply of more than 3,000 metric tons of industrial grade carbon fibre to serve emerging local markets in the Middle East as well as international markets.
Commenting on SABIC’s commitment to enter the carbon fibre market, Koos van Haasteren, Executive Vice President, Performance Chemicals, said, “This carbon fibre project will be the basis for the creation of a world-class carbon composites value chain in Saudi Arabia and a valuable extension of our offering of innovative products and services to our customers in key markets. We are looking forward to developing many new and exciting applications as we grow our ability to supply competitive industrial grade carbon fibre products.”
Emilio Boriolo, Montefibre President and CEO, added “We are very proud of this opportunity of technical partnership with SABIC. Montefibre will bring in its experience and enthusiasm to help SABIC reach its ambitious goals. I wish that the success of this initiative will result in further collaboration between our companies.”
The project will also include the creation of a new carbon fibre product development centre and composite plastics application development capabilities at the SABIC Plastics Application Development Centre (SPADC) which is currently under construction at the Riyadh Techno Valley research complex at King Saud University.
Derek Buckmaster, General Manager Functional Polymers, also highlighted: “Carbon fibre is a product which will offer our customers great value and will enable them to achieve their sustainability targets. For example, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in transportation markets such as automotive, heavy trucks and rail are enabled by weight reductions from utilising lightweight carbon fibre composites.” He further noted that the fibres and derivatives introduced by this project will allow SABIC to serve growing markets for traditional thermoset-based composites, and also enable SABIC to utilise its deep expertise in thermoplastic technologies to develop a broader range of short cycle-time composite solutions – all of which promotes the use of carbon fibre composites in applications that have not been able to benefit from the intrinsic strengths of carbon fibre composites.
SABIC and Montefibre are also studying the feasibility of building a carbon fibre production plant in Spain which would be integrated into Montefibre’s existing acrylic fibre production site and would thus allow SABIC to accelerate product development and material qualification activities with customers and end-users.
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