Mitsubishi Rayon to acquire SGL’s carbon fibre plant in the US


To expand its carbon fibres business in North America, Tokyo-headquartered Mitsubishi Rayon (MRC) will acquire SGL Carbon Fibers’ Wyoming, US plant, which is the carbon fibre production base of the German SGL Group. MRC’s 100% subsidiary Mitsubishi Rayon Carbon Fiber and Composites plans to acquire all the shares of the production company from its present parent company SGL Technologies North America, incorporating it into MRCFAC, by the beginning of April 2017.

MRC has developed “high-performance large tow,” a unique carbon fibre that supports high productivity in the moulding of large components whilst exhibiting the physical and quality properties equivalent to regular-tow carbon fibres. It has been cultivating applications in fields such as the aircraft industry and compressed gas tanks since the launch of operation in its Otake Production Centre in July 2011.

Given the increasing demand for large tow especially for application in wind turbine blades, MRC has been strengthening its business operation in this area having founded a joint venture manufacturing and distributing carbon fibre composite laminates for window turbine blades in October last year. Furthermore, inquiries for various intermediary materials using high-performance large tow in light-weighted materials for automobiles is increasing.

As a result, the utilisation rate of MRC’s production facilities has remained high. MRC decided to acquire SGL to increase its carbon fibre capacity in order to meet the growing demand for large tow. This addition will increase MRC’s carbon fibre production capacity by 1,000 tonness. Combined with the expansion of capacity of regular-tow carbon fibre at MRCFAC’s plant in Sacramento in the US, commercial operation of which will commence shortly, and the expansion of production capacity at MRC’s Otake Production Centre scheduled in 2017, MRC’s carbon fibre production capacity will increase from 10,100 tonnes/year to 14,300 tonnes within 2017.

Additionally, MRC will consider to add further carbon fibre and intermediate material production facilities on the current premises of SGL based on the requirements and growth of the carbon fibre market.

In Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group’s medium-term management plan APTSIS 20, MRC has set its sales target to achieve 100 billion yen by 2020 in its carbon fibre and composite material business. It will leverage the characteristics of high-performance large tow and plans thereby to capture the growth of the automotive and other industries through collaboration with its intermediary and moulding material (CFRP) development and manufacturing bases in Europe, North America, Japan and the rest of Asia.


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