Japanese fiber and nonwovens producer Asahi Kasei is reportedly spending ¥5 billion or $45 million on new production lines in Thailand targeting the disposable diaper markeat. The move will increase the company's capacity in Thailand by 50%. The Thai site, which was established in 2012 and expanded in late 2015, currently makes 40,000 tons of spunmelt nonwovens on two lines and has been operating at full capacity for some time, according to the company.
In other news, the company is is ramping up production of high-performance fibers used in automobile seats and air bags as part of a strategy to focus resources on high-value-added fibers and solidify global competitiveness through quality and economies of scale. The Tokyo-based chemical company will install a new production line for high-strength, highly flame-retardant nylon fibers used as reinforcing material for air bags and tires at a plant in Miyazaki Prefecture, boosting capacity more than 20%. The move comes in response to growing air bag demand in emerging countries accompanying stronger vehicle safety standards.
Asahi Kasei will also increase output of artificial leather made of polyester fiber, which is used in car seats and ceilings, by 50% at another plant in Miyazaki Prefecture. The company supplies virtually all European automakers with high-value-added artificial leathers, and sales have been climbing.