Expansions: Toray invests US$365 mn to expand fibre capacities in South Korea; Klüber to invest EUR1.56 mn to expand lubricants plant in India

Toray invests US$365 mn to expand fibre capacities in South Korea

Japan’s Toray Industries Inc. and its affiliate Toray Advanced Materials Korea (TAK) recently signed an investment memorandum of understanding (MOU) with South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy for an investment of around US$365 million to expand its output of fibres at Gumi National Industrial Complex, South Korea, by 2025.

This investment includes new aramid fibre and carbon fibre production lines, driven by increasing domestic demand and Toray’s strategy to position South Korea as a major global sales and export hub.

Last year, the company began expanding its third carbon fibre production line at Gumi Plant 4, which will have a capacity of 3,300 tonnes/year. This expansion is scheduled to be completed and operational by the second half of 2025, bringing Toray's total annual carbon fiber production capacity to 8,000 tonnes.

It also intends to raise aramid fibre output at Gumi from the current 3,000 to 5,000 tonnes/year.

Toray entered the South Korean market in 1963 and has invested a total of US$3.6 billion in the textile sector over the past 60 years.

As well, Toray Carbon Fibers Europe SA last year announced plans to increase capacity of regular tow medium and high-modulus carbon fibres at its plant in Abidos, France. The project will increase capacity from 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes/year. The additional production is expected to come on stream in 2025.

Klüber to invest EUR1.56 mn to expand lubricants plant in India

In other news, speciality lubricants firm Klüber Lubrication, a part of German Freudenberg Chemical Specialities, has announced a significant expansion of its operations facility in Mysore, India, set to be fully operational at latest by the beginning of 2027. Klüber India’s manufacturing plant in Mysore is spread over 17,000 sq m at present and produces specialty lubricants.

The plant will feature a production facility equipped with technology tailored to Klüber Lubrication's specialised needs. As a part of the investments, Klüber will attain new certifications such as IATF (for automotive customers) and ISO 21469 (for food grade lubricants), while boosting the R&D infrastructure and increasing the speed to market for new products.

Klüber Lubrication is poised to leverage these enhancements to amplify its operations, introduce high-value product lines, and facilitate the seamless relocation of global products to better serve its clientele, it adds.

Hitendra Bhargava, CEO and Regional Management Board Member Asia Pacific at Klüber Lubrication, emphasised the transformative impact of this expansion, stating, "By integrating a new production hall and world class infrastructure, our aim is to offer state-of-the-art speciality products which will be locally manufactured. Ultimately, this initiative is in sync with the self-reliance India mission (Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan) launched by Government of India. This investment helps us to be closer and faster to our customers not just in India, but in the entire APAC region.”

Klüber Lubrication's expansion in Mysore also underscores the organisation’s focus on sustainability – with the aid of solar panels installed on the roof, the plant derives more than half of its energy from renewable sources.

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