Toray Industries, Inc. announced that the company made a decision to expand production capacity of its PAN-based carbon fiber TORAYCA composite material simultaneously at its three manufacturing bases in Japan, the U.S. and France. The move is aimed at responding to the full-scale expansion in demand for PAN-based carbon fibers for uses including aircraft application. The company plans to spend 55.0 billion yen in total to build additional facilities at all the manufacturing bases of the group through the beginning of 2009. In Japan, it plans to build a second prepreg (carbon fiber sheets impregnated with epoxy resin) manufacturing facility at its Ishikawa Plant (Nomi-shi, Ishikawa prefecture), in addition to its Ehime Plant (Masaki-cho, Ehime prefecture).
Under the capacity increase plan, Toray will newly build a large-scale production line with production capacity of 1,800 tons a year at each of its U.S. subsidiary Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. (CFA; Decatur, Alabama, the U.S.) and French subsidiary Société des Fibres de Carbone S.A. (SOFICAR; Abidos, France) and a new high-performance carbon fiber production line with capacity of 400 tons will be built at the Ehime Plant in Japan. Toray will also build a precursor production line at CFA along with this increase in carbon fiber production capacity. With respect to prepreg, the company will add a production line with annual capacity of 5.8 million m2 at its U.S. subsidiary Toray Composites America, Inc. (TCA; Tacoma, Washington, the U.S.) and newly build a line with similar capacity at its Ishikawa Plant in Japan.