Midland, Michigan - A joint venture between Dow Chemical Co. and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii AS to make carbon fibre and derivatives will see an investment of up to $1000 million within 5 years, and have the potential to create up to 1000 jobs in Turkey
Dow Europe GmbH signed anagreement with Aksa 20 Dec 2011 to form the 50:50 JV, which will make and commercialise carbon fibre and derivatives.
The operation will supply products and technical service support for the rapidly expanding carbon-fibre based composites industry.
Dow said strong and lightweight, carbon-fibre based materials are used in growth industries such as wind energy, construction, transport, and infrastructure, where weight savings, emissions reduction, durability and energy efficiency are key performance factors.
Currently, a joint statement said, the value of the carbon fibre composites industry is estimated at $10 000 million globally and is expected to reach $40 000 million by 2022.
After initial equity investments from the two companies, the JV will finance its growth through cash flow from operations and financial institutions. Total investment in the project, including third party investments, is expected to reach $1000 million in five years.
The JV will expand on Aksa's existing carbon fibre production plant in Yalova, Turkey, and will create a large-scale, integrated facility for advanced carbon fibre technologies. The venture will particularly focus on solutions that reduce overall costs, which will encourage adoption in a broader array of markets.
Dow chairman and ceo Andrew Liveris said the JV will, "deliver innovative solutions that address some of the world's most pressing challenges, such as increasing the energy capture of wind turbines, improving the fuel economy of automobiles, and extending the life of roads and buildings."
Turkey is the second biggest acrylic fibre market in the world, and Aksa has not only a leading position in technical fibre and capacity in acrylic fibre, but has also achieved an important position in the international market with the carbon fibre, noted Mehmet Ali Berkman, Akkok Group chief executive officer and Aksa chairman, in the statement.
Berkman said carbon fibre composites, which will replace metal in many future uses, have significant importance, "for fundamental industries in Turkey such as transport (automobile, high-speed train, vessels, heavy vehicles, etc.), wind energy technologies and construction, particularly for earthquake-resistant buildings.