SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers Announces Completion of the New Moses Lake Facility
Moses Lake, May 23, 2011. SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers (SGL ACF) – a joint venture of SGL Group and the BMW Group – met the completion date for the Moses Lake facility on time. SGL ACF has officially taken over occupancy of the facility and is on track to begin testing equipment for the manufacture of carbon fibers that will be used in the new BMW i3.
“The new carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake is a fundamental component of the joint venture’s strategy to commercialize the manufacture of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastics for use in the automotive industry. Carbon fiber technology is becoming increasingly important in the materials substitution process to lighter materials, which helps to improve fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions,” said Andreas Wuellner, Managing Director SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers.
Dr. Joerg Pohlman, Managing Director SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers: “After a year of design work and breaking ground this past July, it has taken us only nine months to construct the Moses Lake facility. The new carbon fiber plant, a benchmark in the industry, will be the most cost efficient of its kind worldwide. We are closely adhering to our aggressive time plan for plant completion in the 3rd quarter of this year. We worked closely together to achieve this important milestone”.
The carbon fibers manufactured in Moses Lake will be used exclusively for BMW Group’s demand, the first application being the upcoming BMW i3 that will be launched in 2013. The plant covers 60 acres of land with the option to purchase additional land to cater to future growth. The plant will initially run two carbon fiber lines, each with an annual capacity of 1,500 metric tons. The first carbon fiber line will be commissioned in the third quarter of 2011.
These carbon fibers will then be processed into lightweight carbon fiber fabrics at the second joint venture site in Wackersdorf, Germany. The carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts and components will then be made from these fabrics at the BMW plant in Landshut, Germany. BMW Group’s upcoming Megacity Vehicle, the BMW i3, will be constructed from these parts at the BMW plant in Leipzig, Germany.
The raw material needed to manufacture carbon fibers, a polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based precursor, will be produced by MRC SGL Precursor Co. Ltd. (MSP), a joint venture between SGL Group and the Japanese Company Mitsubishi Rayon (MRC). MSP is based at the MRC production site in Otake, Japan and started on-time to deliver the first commercial quantities of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based precursor to SGL ACF in the 2nd quarter of this year.
About SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers
SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers is a joint venture between the BMW Group and SGL Group for the manufacture of carbon fibers and fabrics for the automotive industry. The joint venture operates two sites, one in Moses Lake, Washington for carbon fiber production and one in Wackersdorf, Germany for carbon fiber fabric production. During the first phase of development, US$ 100 million will be invested and 80 jobs will be created in Moses Lake. Initially, the carbon fibers manufactured in Moses Lake will be used for BMW Group’s Megacity Vehicle, the BMW i3, which will be launched in 2013.
About SGL Group – The Carbon Company
SGL Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of carbon-based products. It has a comprehensive portfolio ranging from carbon and graphite products to carbon fibers and composites. SGL Group’s core competencies are its expertise in high-temperature technology as well as its applications and engineering know-how gained over many years. These competencies enable the Company to make full use of its broad material base. SGL Group’s carbon-based materials combine several unique properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity, heat and corrosion resistance as well as high mechanical strength combined with low weight. Due to the paradigm shift in the use of materials, there is a growing demand for SGL Group’s high-performance materials and products from an increasing number of industries. Carbon and graphite products are used whenever other materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, plastics, wood etc. fail due to their limited properties. Products from SGL Group are used predominantly in the steel, aluminum, automotive, chemical and glass/ceramics industries. However, manufacturers in the semiconductor, battery, solar/wind energy, environmental protection, aerospace and defense industries as well as in the nuclear energy industry also figure among the Company’s customers.
With 45 production sites in Europe, North America and Asia as well as a service network covering more than 100 countries, SGL Group is a company with a global presence. In 2010, the Company’s workforce of around 6,300 generated sales of €1,382 million. The Company’s head office is located in Wiesbaden/Germany.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on the information currently available to us and on our current projections and assumptions. By nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, as a consequence of which actual developments and results can deviate significantly from these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not to be understood as guarantees. Rather, future developments and results depend on a number of factors; they entail various risks and unanticipated circumstances and are based on assumptions which may prove to be inaccurate. These risks and uncertainties include, for example, unforeseeable changes in political, economic, legal, and business conditions, particularly relating to our main customer industries, such as electric steel production, to the competitive environment, to interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations, to technological developments, and to other risks and unanticipated circumstances. Other risks that in our opinion may arise include price developments, unexpected developments connected with acquisitions and subsidiaries, and unforeseen risks associated with ongoing cost savings programs. SGL Group does not intend or assume any responsibility to revise or otherwise update these forward-looking statements.