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Dow and Aksa announce formation of joint venture for carbon fiber and derivatives

News International-French

5 Jul 2012

DowAksa to focus on solutions that reduce overall costs, thereby enhancing economics and driving adoption in a broader array of industrial markets - Emphasis to be on integrated carbon fiber composite solutions for growing energy, transportation and infrastructure markets globally


The Dow Chemical Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Dow Europe Holding BV, and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş., a world-leading acrylic fiber company, today announced the official formation of DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV (DowAksa), a joint venture (JV) to manufacture and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives. Aksa and Dow had previously signed a definitive agreement to form the JV on December 20, 2011.


DowAksa will develop and globally market a broad range of products and technical service support in the rapidly expanding carbon-fiber composites industry. The JV will have a particular focus on bringing solutions to market that reduce overall costs, thereby enhancing economics and driving adoption in a broader array of markets. Emphasis will be on bringing cost-effective solutions to industrial market applications for energy, transportation, and infrastructure globally.


Very strong and lightweight, carbon-fiber based materials are used in a variety of applications in growth industries, where weight savings, emissions reduction, durability, and energy efficiency are key performance factors. Currently, the carbon fiber composites industry is estimated at USD $10 billion globally and is expected to reach USD $40 billion by 2022.


Aksa’s carbon fiber which is the output behind the R&D’s success, has been being produced since 2009 in the Yalova Factory. The JV will expand on existing carbon fiber production assets in Yalova, Turkey, and will capture growth by creating a large-scale, integrated production capability for the manufacture and supply of advanced carbon fiber technologies.


Aksa and Dow each hold a 50 percent stake in the JV, which will finance its growth through cash flow from operations and financial institutions.


Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said, “The formation of this JV is another demonstration that Dow is advancing its innovation and growth strategy and our commitment to pursue high-value, innovation-rich sectors through strategic partnerships. Together our companies will apply science, world-class manufacturing capabilities and technical expertise for innovative solutions that address pressing global challenges, such as improving the fuel economy of automobiles, and extending the life of roads and buildings.”


Akkök Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer and Aksa Board Chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman said, “Already a world leader in acrylic fiber, Aksa took steps in 2011 in the carbon fiber sector with the target of increasing market share through investment in manufacturing capacity and productivity. With the formation of the joint venture, we are pleased that our carbon fiber technologies and production capabilities in Turkey will be essential to DowAksa’s future as world leader in advanced carbon fiber and derivatives. Carbon fiber composites, which are expected to replace metal as the material of the future, have significant importance in Turkey and around the world for fundamental industries such as transportation (automobile, high-speed train, vessels, heavy vehicles, etc.), wind energy technologies and construction, particularly for earthquake-resistant buildings.”


Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer Heinz Haller said, “This joint venture leverages Dow’s expertise in composites technology, formulation, and technical service as well as market knowledge and channels. Upon implementation of the joint venture strategy, DowAksa will be the carbon fiber composites industry’s only large-scale, full-service, integrated solution provider, serving the emerging needs of the world’s leading industries and will have competitive advantage in the global markets in which carbon fiber composites are used.”


AKSA Board of Directors Member and Akkök Executive Board Member Mustafa Yılmaz emphasized that the cooperation made with Dow was very significant in terms of creating new business opportunities. “AKSA functions as a reliable business partner for market and business world stakeholders that possesses technical expertise and provides better performance and economical advantage. While combining the market and technical knowledge of both companies with this joint venture we will also provide the carbon fiber and composite industry with higher performance products. This cooperation will also make positive contributions towards the growth of the composite industry in our country and our region.”