MIDLAND, MICH. (Dec. 23, 10:45 a.m. ET) — A joint venture between Dow Chemical Co. and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii AS to make carbon fiber and derivatives will see an investment of up to $1 billion within 5 years, and have the potential to create up to 1,000 jobs in Turkey.
Dow Europe GmbH signed an agreement with Aksa in December to form the 50:50 JV, which will make and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives.
The operation will supply products and technical service support for the rapidly expanding carbon-fiber based composites industry.
Dow said strong and lightweight, carbon-fiber 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 fiber composites industry is estimated at $10 billion globally and is expected to reach $40 billion 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 $1 billion in five years.
The JV will expand on Aksa's existing carbon fiber production plant in Yalova, Turkey, and will create a large-scale, integrated facility for advanced carbon fiber 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 fiber market in the world, and Aksa has not only a leading position in technical fiber and capacity in acrylic fiber, but has also achieved an important position in the international market with the carbon fiber, noted Mehmet Ali Berkman, Akkok Group CEO and Aksa chairman, in the statement.
Berkman said carbon fiber 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.