South Korea’s Hyosung is to invest US$829 million by 2028 to expand its carbon fibre production capacity. It plans to start ten production lines for carbon fibre manufacturing at its plant in Jeonju City, capable of producing 24,000 tonnes of the material a year, said to be the largest in the world for a single plant.
In 2011, Hyosung became the first Korean company to develop carbon fibre materials with its own technology. Since 2013, Hyosung has been operating its 2,000-tonne carbon fibre plant in Jeonju. It is building another 2,000-tonne carbon fibre plant also in Jeonju.
With the investment pledged, Hyosung will be catapulted to the third-largest carbon fibre producer in the world, with an estimated market share of 10%. Currently, the company is the 11th-biggest player in terms of carbon fibre production size, supplying 2%.
The announcement was made by the company recently.
The country is a leader in hydrogen energy technology, particularly in the auto sector, but it has been depending on carbon fibre made in Japan for production of fuel storage tanks.
Hyosung also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy, Iljin Composite, a local supplier of hydrogen tanks, and Korea Aerospace Industries, the nation’s sole aircraft manufacturer, to forge an alliance for carbon fibre tests.
The above ties in with the South Korean government plans to increase the number of hydrogen-powered vehicles to 6.2 million by 2040, utilising carbon fibre composite materials for storage and transportation of hydrogen energy.
Meanwhile, Hyosung is also strengthening its partnership with Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest comprehensive petrochemical company, for a cooperation in carbon fibre, including the construction of new plants.
Under an MoU signed in July, Hyosung and Aramco agreed to cooperate in the development and application of carbon fibre production technology and actively review ways to build and expand carbon fibre plants in Saudi Arabia and Korea in the future. They also agreed to strengthen mutual cooperation in chemical fields, such as polyketone and PPDH, which are new advanced materials developed by Hyosung, and electric power such as ESS and transmission and distribution grids.
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