Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. (MRC), the manufacturer of carbon fibers and intermediate carbon materials sets up a new European Representatives Office in Mitsubishi Chemical Europe GmbH offices in Duesseldorf, Germany. MRC will use the new office to promote co-development for intermediate materials working with local partners, participating in industry-government-academia projects and strengthen relationships with end users, while its 100% subsidiary Grafil (Headquarter in California, US) will continue to market and sell the Groups range of Grafil and Pyrofil carbon fibers into the European market through UK office.
The carbon fiber and composite materials market has being growing rapidly within Europe but especially in Germany, which is why MRC have decided to open its new office in Duesseldorf.
In the automotive area, BMW’s new "i series" electric vehicle will make extensive use of carbon fiber fabrics in its major structural components. The car is set to be launched in 2013 and many of the structural fabrics will be manufactured by SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, the joint company formed between SGL Group and BMW Group. MRC-SGL Precursor Co., Ltd., the joint company formed between MRC and SGL Group will supply the precursor (acrylic fibre used as the raw material for carbon fiber) solely for the "i series" project.
In the renewable energy area, over 5 major wind turbine manufacturers are utilizing carbon fiber composites to meet demand for more efficient blades to replace existing blades and for use in new offshore wind farms in places like the North Sea. In Germany where nuclear power will be phased out in favour of renewable energy, to minimize the environmental burden they are urging the development of manufacturing "fast cycle carbon composites".
To respond to such market trends in a timely manner MRC’s European Representative Office will be implementing marketing for various industrial applications, introducing new intermediate materials and working with major automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 OEM’s on the co-development of materials optimised for industrial applications. MRC starts the new office with just one officer and a few part-time employees, but intends to increase members to have both development capability and intermediary product sales function in the future.