Toray Advanced Materials Korea Wins $500 Mln Trade Tower Award
Aims to become the first Asian carbon fiber maker outside of Japan
Toray Advanced Materials Korea was presented with the $500 million Trade Tower award in recognition of it logging $572.07 million in exports between July 2010 and June 2011, a 27 percent jump over the previous 12-month period.
Toray Saehan, the predecessor of Toray Advanced Materials Korea, was established as a joint venture in October 1999 by Toray Industries of Japan and Korea's Saehan Industries Inc. at an ownership ratio of 60:40, favoring the Japanese side. It became wholly owned by Toray Industries, as Saehan Industries was handed over to the Woongjin Group in accordance with Saehan Industries'financial workout and stake changes. Its name changed to Toray Advanced Materials Korea in April 2010 in its strategy to go all out for the advanced materials business, emerging as a growth engine, departing from the old image of the Saehan Group.
Toray Advanced Materials Korea chalked up 1 trillion won in sales in 2010. The company exports polyester film, polypropylene nonwoven fabric, and yarns to 28 countries, including the United States, Japan, China, and European countries.
The company has gained recognition externally for its performance and capacity by winning numerous awards, including the Global Green Management Grand Prize in 2010 for a fourth consecutive year. In 2008, Toray Advanced Materials Korea set up a non-woven fabric plant in Natong, China, and the company has grown into the number one PP spunbond non-woven fabric maker in Asia with plants in China and Korea.
Toray Advanced Materials Korea began the construction of its third carbon fiber plant in Gumi with an annual capacity of 2,200 tons, which is slated for completion by early 2013. Toray Advanced Materials Korea is poised to grow into a maker of carbon fibers for industry and sports use with an annual capacity of 14,000 tons by 2020, becoming the first carbon fiber maker in Asia outside of Japan.
To this end, Toray Industries and Toray Advanced Materials Korea plan to pour 1.3 trillion won, the largest FDI in North Gyeongsang Province history, into the construction of the new carbon fiber plant within the 5th Gumi Industrial Complex.
Lee Young-kwan, president of Toray Advanced Materials Korea, earlier announced a management plan calling for making the year 2011 the first year for realizing Vision 2020, established in 2010, and making massive investments starting with the carbon fiber segment and expanding to the film and IT materials sectors and the globalizing of the non-woven fabric segment.
The size of the Korean carbon fiber market is predicted to surge from 2,400 tons in 2010 to 14,000 tons in 2020, bringing economic spillover effects to related industries and creating new markets whose value is projected to grow to approximately 10 trillion won by 2020 as well as create 30,000 jobs, officials said. Toray Advanced Materials Korea's investment in the carbon fiber segment will likely boost the global competitiveness of the related industries, thus contributing to helping Korea become one of the global composite powerhouses and ensuring low-carbon, green growth, they said.
Toray Industries plans to expand its business horizons in future growth segments and countries and regions with growth potential as well as widen its green technology development and business portfolios under the green innovation paradigm, contributing to addressing global environmental issues.
Toray Industries, which has established the carbon fiber TORAYCA as the advanced material for ensuring green innovation, is accelerating its bid to develop products in areas with future growth potential, including the environment/energy, premium sports, and automobile/aircraft sectors, as part of its plan to build a four-polar global operation regime putting Korea on top of Japan, France and the United States.
Carbon fiber has been recognized as an environmentally-friendly dream material that can conserve energy by reducing the weight of automobiles, ships and wind power components and materials. Carbon fiber is 10 times as strong, one-fourth as light, and seven times as elastic as iron. It has many applications in almost all industries ranging from the aerospace, aviation and automobile fields to shipping and other maritime transportation sectors, new and renewable energy fields and electricity, electronics, civil engineering and construction sectors. nw
Lee Young-kwan, president of Toray Advanced Materials Korea
Photo on courtesy of Toray Advanced Materials Korea