Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., Japan, is to expand carbon fibre output at Tenax Fibers GmbH, its wholly owned German subsidiary, with a new production line investment of €38 million.
Tenax Fibers GmbH (Tenax), based in Wuppertal, currently has an annual production of 1,900 tons per annum. The new line will almost double output to 3,400 tons pa. Construction of the new line will start this month and commercial start-up scheduled for October 2006.
The company says that the market for carbon fibre has been improving since the middle of last year and is expected to continue growing 10% pa.
“”Especially in Europe, the aerospace application for Airbus and industrial application including wind energy generator are expanding its demand, which has exceeded the current production capacity of Tenax,”” said the company. The additional production line at Tenax is being built to meet this “”active”” demand.
When complete, the new line will raise Toho Tenax’s total carbon fibre production capacity to 9,100 tons pa. (7,800 tons of regular tow and 1,300 tons of large tow). Just over a month ago the company bought Fortafil Fibers, the US PAN carbon fibre business of Acordis.
The Japanese company has also announced that it has reached an agreement of settlement with the plaintiffs in a federal class action lawsuit for alleged price fixing of carbon fibre and carbon fibre prepreg for $7.75 million.
Toho Tenax has denied and continues to deny this allegation, but said that it believes that the costs of continuing defense outweigh the costs of settlement. The settlement is subject to court approval.
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