Monday, November 7, 2011

No. 345: Production of high-performance black lead is expanded to prepare for the growing demand of solar battery (November 8, 2011)

It is highly likely that demand for solar battery will grow in the long and medium terms. To prepare for the growing demand of solar battery, Tokai Carbon decided to increase its current annual production capacity of high-performance black lead by 50% to 15,000 tons by late 2012 with an investment of about 5 billion yen. Despite the current highly appreciated yen, the company will expand the domestic facilities to crush cokes and mix them with petroleum pitch, instead of building a new plant in a foreign country. The investment is to increase the production capacity of isotropic graphite that is a special carbon product.

The company studied the demand forecast of solar battery and came to the conclusion that the world demand for isotropic graphite will grow 30% over the level in 2011 to 60,000 tons in 2013. Isotropic graphite is used to build a crucible for the production of a silicon ingot, which is the raw material of a solar battery cell (power generation element), and an electrode for electric discharge of the die for vehicle production. Tokai Carbon supposed to be second place in the production of isotropic graphite with a 20% share in the world market. The company plans to increase the sales of special carbon products 50% over the current 10 billion yen in three to four years.   

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