Jan. 27, 2015
Toray Industries, Inc.
Toray to Expand Polyester Staple Fiber Business at Korean Subsidiary
-In pursuit of synergy effects within Toray Group-
Toray Industries, Inc. (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Akihiro Nikkaku; hereinafter referred to as “Toray”) today announced that it has formulated a plan to expand the polyester staple fiber business at Toray Chemical Korea Inc. (head office: Seoul, Republic of Korea; CEO: Lee Young-Kwan; hereinafter referred to as “TCK”), the acquisition of which Toray completed in February 2014, to pursuit synergy effects within Toray Group.
According to the plan, Toray will boost production capacity of low melt polyester staple fiber (hereinafter referred to as “LM polyester staple fiber”) at TCK’s Gumi I Plant in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do by about 1.7 times to 170,000 tons. The additional LM polyester staple fiber production facility is expected to start production in July 2016.
In addition, Toray will also increase production capacity of bi-component staple fibers of both polypropylene-polyethylene and polyester-polyethylene (hereinafter referred to as “bi-component fibers”) used to produce nonwoven fabric for personal hygiene materials materials, whose demand has been growing rapidly.
LM polyester staple fiber is used as binder (a bonding agent) to combine staple fibers using heat in the manufacturing process of nonwoven fabric, and it is mainly used in nonwoven fabric used for acoustic insulation material for automotive and cushions for mattress and other furniture. Manufacturers have been switching from the conventional chemical adhesive method using chemical agents, for manufacturing nonwoven fabric, to a thermobonding method given the rising awareness for environment-friendliness. LM polyester staple fiber is the eco-friendly material used in thermobonding and its global market is expanding at a rate of 8% a year. For this reason, the competition in the industry has been intensifying, as manufacturers with top market shares in the LM polyester staple fiber market invests in manufacturing facilities and other companies are newly entering into the market.
In July 2004, prior to Toray’s acquisition, TCK started producing LM polyester staple fiber and currently has the third biggest share in the global market. With the expansion of production facility, Toray Group aims to establish its position in the growing LM polyester staple fiber market and increase sales of and income from nonwoven fabric staple fiber.
Moreover, the market of nonwoven fabric for personal hygiene materials, for which bi-component fibers are used, is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6%, due to the demand increase reflecting improving living standard of the people in emerging countries primarily in Asia and the advent of the aging society in developed countries.
In preparation for the expansion of polypropylene spunbond market, Toray Group has been enhancing its production capacity in major countries in Asia. The composite fiber production capacity increase at TCK would enhance the product lineup of the materials, from filament to staple fibers, used in nonwoven fabric for personal hygiene materials products. It will also strengthen joint initiatives with major personal hygiene material manufacturers with global operation ultimately to expand the business.
As part of the growth strategy under the new medium-term management program Project AP-G 2016 launched in April 2014, Toray has been pursuing the Asia, America and Emerging Country Business Expansion (AE-II) Project to actively expand the business in regions and countries with rapidly growing economy.
This plan to expand polyester staple fiber business is being promoted as one of basic strategies to incorporate the economic growth in Asia and other emerging economies in the industrial material field, which is expected to see a major expansion in demand. Toray will continue to actively expand its business so as to contribute to the society through the power of materials.
|Toray Chemical Korea Inc. (TCK)|
|Manufacture and distribution of synthetic fibers (polyester filament/staple), polyester chips, meta-aramid fibers, water treatment filters, A-PET sheets (non-stretchable film), etc.|
|(Head office) Seoul, Republic of Korea|
(Plant) Gumi, Geongsangbuk-do, South Korea
|July 1972 (Cheil Synthetics Inc.)|
|Lee Youngkwan (Chairman)|
|(also serving as CEO, Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc. (TAK))|
| 237.2 billion won (as of October 2014)|
Details of LM polyester staple fiber, bi-component staple fiber for hygiene materials.