Toray Advance Materials (TAK) will build a second nonwovens plant in Nantong, China. The new site will initially house one polypropylene-based spunbond line capable of making 20,000 tons of material per year. This investment will bring the Korean company’s total Chinese output to 78,000 tons and its total nonwovens output to about 141,000 tons. The new line is expected to be complete in December 2014.
According to information supplied by the parent company Toray, demand for disposable baby diapers is forecast to rapidly grow from 14 billion pieces in 2012 to 38 billion pieces a year in 2020 in China due to the improvement in people’s lifestyle. These improvements will influence major hygiene product manufacturers to expand their existing production facilities and leading medium-sized manufacturers to enter the market. The move by Toray and TAK to extend TPN’s production capacity responds to strong demand for polypropylene spunbond in China as well as the requirements for high-performance materials for disposable diapers and to strengthen the cost competitiveness of its operation.
These prospects have led Toray to invest heavily in China in recent years. After establishing the Chinese subsidiary, known as Toray Polytech (Nantong), in 2006 with an 18,000-ton-per-year line, Toray added a second line in 2010 and brought a third line onstream in late 2012. Both lines added 20,000 tons to the operation. Additionally, Toray established a subsidiary in Indonesia last year. The first line at this site, a 20,000-ton spunbond machine, came onstream this month.
The demand for disposable baby diapers throughout Asia, led by China, India and ASEAN countries, is estimated to grow from 29 billion pieces in 2012 to 65 billion pieces a year in 2020, and demand for PP spunbond in Asia is expected to expand from 290,000 tons annually in 2012 to 750,000 tons in 2020, according to the company. The Toray Group markets its polypropylene-based spunbond, made in Korea, China and Indonesia, widely in Asia including Japan, Korea, China, India and ASEAN countries. The group aims to expand its business in the fast-growing Asian market by offering products that address such needs for high-performance disposable diaper materials, while responding to increasing demand for PP spunbond in various countries in Asia.