Toray will raise the price of its carbon fibers for industrial purposes by 10-20% from 27 dollars to higher than 30 dollars per kg coming October. The price increase is due to the growing demand for windmills of wind generators. Because demand for wind generation is expected to double in five years, the company wishes to increase the profitability by the price hike for growth investment. Production of carbon fiber is estimated at 37,000 tons worldwide, of which Toray accounts for 40%. Three Japanese companies of Toray, Teijin, and Mitsubishi Rayon have a combined share of 70% in the world market. It is likely that Teijin and Mitsubishi Rayon will follow suit.
The windmills of wind generation will grow in size to be several tens of meters each, carbon fibers will in greater demand because of its lightweight and excellent strength. Carbon fiber is one quarter of iron in weight and 10 times stronger than iron. Plans to build an off-shore wind generation plant are announced one after another in Japan after the introduction of the system to purchase renewable energy at fixed pries in July this year. Because Toray plans to increase the production capacity of carbon fiber by 50% by 2015, it invested 45 billion yen in Japan and France. Global Wind Energy Council predicts that the construction of wind power generation facilities will increase 13% over the previous year in 2012. Wind generation is expected to have a capacity of 500 gigwatts worlwide in 2016, about two times of the capacity in 2011.