Toray Industries, Inc., announced that U.S. subsidiary Zoltek Companies, Inc., will bolster its large-tow carbon fiber (with more than 40,000 filaments) production capacity in 2023. The upgrade will cost around USD$130 million (around ¥14 billion). A Zoltek facility in Jalisco, Mexico, will lift its annual capacity around 54%, to more than 20,000 tons, boosting the combined annual capacity of that company’s Mexican and Hungarian operations to about 35,000 metric tons.
Toray expects the market for this fiber to expand over the medium through long terms. That is because of growing deployments of wind power as an eco-friendly source of renewable energy. An associated factor is rising demand for longer and lighter blades to boost generating efficiency, fueling the use of carbon fiber, which is lightweight, strong, and rigid. The capacity increase will stabilize supplies to cater to expanding large tow carbon fiber demand. Zoltek will keep drawing on production facilities in the United States, Hungary, and Mexico to take advantage of increasing global demand, particularly for wind turbine blades.