SGL expands European carbon fibre precursor production

SGL will also submit a mandatory public offer to the Portuguese securities commission for the remaining shares in Fisipe. The closing for the transaction is targeted for the end of April 2012.

Fisipe (Fibras Sintéticas de Portugal SA) is a producer of acrylic fibres with a plant in Lavradio, Portugal. Its previous principal shareholder was Negofor.

The textile fibre production lines at the Fisipe site will be converted and gradually expanded to precursor production. The facility will also continue to manufacture acrylic fibres for special textile and technical applications.

“As an integrated manufacturer of carbon fibres and composites, having our own supply of raw materials is absolutely essential in light of increasing quality and efficiency requirements as well as developing new fields of application for carbon fibre technology," says Dr Jürgen Köhler, Head of Business Unit Carbon Fibers & Composite Materials, SGL. "This is why acquiring Fisipe is a logical strategic step toward strengthening our European precursor production base."

"Fisipe is a long-term partner with proven know-how in manufacturing acrylic fibres and has a modern production and research infrastructure with its own energy supply. We are securing this high-tech site in Portugal and can thus build on the expertise of the approximately 330 people currently working there.”

SGL currently produces precursors in joint ventures with Lenzing AG in Kelheim, Germany, and Mitsubishi Rayon Co Ltd (MRC) in Otake, Japan. These joint ventures focus on industrial grade carbon fibres (50K). With Fisipe, SGL is tapping into an additional source of raw materials to produce other types of precursor, specifically the development of raw materials for low-tow carbon fibres (3K-24K).