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15th September 2016, Wiesbaden/Lavradio

SGL Group inaugurates carbon fibre precursor line in Portugal

SGL Group is celebrating the inauguration of a production line for precursor at its FISIPE site in Lavradio, near Lisbon in Portugal, which has been set up by converting and enhancing parts of the existing production facility.

Construction was completed last month following four years of research and development and qualification procedures. Over this period, in total, EUR 30 million has been invested in Lavradio into different elements of the precursor production including the spinning line.

The build-up has been completed last month. © SGL Group

As part of the global production network of SGL Group, the precursor from Portugal is being used as of September for the production of the company’s new generation of high-end industrial SIGRAFIL carbon fibres in Moses Lake, Washington State (USA) and Muir of Ord (Scotland). The carbon fibres will then be used in various applications in the automotive, aerospace, as well as in other industries. Precursor is a polymer-based fibre, which is used as the main raw material for the production of carbon fibres.

Complete value chain for carbon fibre based solutions

“With the new precursor line at our Lavradio site we now have the complete value chain of high-quality carbon fibre materials available in-house to further support our customers in developing and utilizing innovative lightweight solutions,” commented Andreas Wüllner, Chairman of the business unit Composites – Fibres & Materials (CFM) at SGL Group.

SGL Group is an innovation leader in composites for lightweight design with broad competence for fibres, materials, processes and applications. In order to further increase value for the customers, the business unit currently enhances its activities offering not only materials but also extensive expertise and support to enable customers to optimize the use of fibres and materials for composites.

In this context, SGL Group also sets up a new Lightweight and Applications Center (LAC) at its biggest site in Meitingen, Germany to facilitate the product and manufacturing technology development from fibres and materials to component.

Consequent development of Lavradio facility

In addition, the completion of the precursor production line is also a consequent step of further developing the business and set-up of the FISIPE site in Lavradio, Portugal. Having been founded more than 40 years ago, FISIPE has established as a specialist for acrylic fibres. Under the umbrella of SGL Group, the acrylic fibre business is maintained while the precursor production has been set up.

“With around 350 employees in Lavradio and a production site of more than 200,000 qm now also including the new state-of-the-art precursor production line, we are proud to contribute to the further build-up of highly innovative composites and thus help to establish more and more fascinating lightweight solutions around the world. I would like to sincerely thank all colleagues involved in this project for their great support and engagement,” said Stefan Seibel, Managing Director at FISIPE in Lavradio.

Precursor production

The precursor production is part of SGL Group’s path forward towards sustainable profitable growth targeting a 50% sales increase until 2020 in the fields of composites and graphite materials and systems. In future, the company will focus on supporting and accelerating developments linked to the megatrends of mobility, energy, and digitalization.

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