Dow Chemical’s Venture Targets $1 Billion in Carbon Investments

Dow Chemical Co. and Turkish partner Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii AS are planning $1 billion in carbon-fiber investments over five years, including in Russia and the U.S., through joint venture DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings BV.

The venture is in talks with two companies in Russia, Rusnano and Prepreg-ACM and Nanotechnology Center for Composites, for an investment to supply carbon-fiber derivatives, Ahmet Dorduncu, head of Akkok Group, Aksa Akrilik’s owner, said in a news conference in Istanbul today. An investment in the U.S. is also possible, he said.

DowAksa, which has 3,600 metric tons of carbon fiber production capacity in Yalova near Istanbul, or a 6 percent share of the global market, and competes with producers including DuPont Co., Teijin Ltd and Toray Industries Inc. The material is used by a variety of industries, including automobile manufacturing, energy, medicine and aviation.

“The investment may rise to $1.5 billion by 2022, when the global carbon fiber composite market is expected to reach $40 billion,” Mithat Okay, chief executive officer of DowAksa, said in an interview. “The investment projection includes all ventures we want to have abroad,” he said.

Dow’s expansion in carbon fiber comes as it seeks to make $1.5 billion in disposals. The plastic-additives business and a polypropylene licensing and catalysts division have been earmarked for sale, with Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris pledging to be more aggressive about assessing whether units have a future within the company.

Akkok, which also owns Akenerji Elektrik Uretim AS in a joint venture with Czech energy producer Cez AS, plans to invest $3 billion, mostly in energy and chemicals over the next 5 years to grow its sales to $5 billion in 2017 from $3.1 billion last year, Dorduncu said.