Japan's Toray to spend $555 m on production boost

Japan's Toray Industries said Friday it will invest more than half a billion dollars to boost synthetic materials production and meet soaring global demand for the stuff of next generation aircraft.

Toray, which supplies the carbon fibre for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner aircraft, said it was spending $555 million at plants in Japan, the US, France and South Korea as part of a plan to increase worldwide production by around 50 percent.

The company said the money would go toward ramping up annual production to 27,100 tonnes by March 2015.

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About 90 percent of the demand for carbon fibre comes from outside Japan, but the company said half of the investment will be domestic, using a government subsidy to promote job creation.

Three hundred jobs will be created worldwide, with half of them in Japan, it said.

The company said its bases in Japan were "mother plants" that would concentrate on producing advanced materials and act as the base for developing new technologies and new products.

The investment in the United States will be aimed at meeting the demand from the expanding market for environmental and energy-related applications, including natural gas pressure vessels used in the extraction of shale gas, it said.

"Toray Group also plans to further expand the business for the Latin American market, mainly Brazil, where the market is expected to grow rapidly in the future," it said.

by Michel Comte © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Mar 9, 2012