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US: BMW Group and SGL Group to triple production capacities at Moses Lake carbon fiber plant

 Due to the high demand for carbon fiber in automotive production, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers is going to triple the capacity of the carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake, WA (USA). This was announced by the joint venture partners, SGL Group and BMW Group, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the planned site expansion. The expansion will be funded by an investment of 200 million US dollars, in addition to the previously invested 100 million US dollars.  The site expansion, scheduled to be completed by early 2015, will make the plant in Moses Lake the world’s largest carbon fiber plant. With the anticipated creation of 120 new jobs, the headcount at the joint venture in Moses Lake is going to rise from currently 80 to about 200 people. Due to the automated production processes, the expansion of the site in Moses Lake will make it possible for the BMW Group to apply carbon fiber material also in other model series in the future, at competitive costs and in large quantities.
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
14 May 2014

As of now, the Moses Lake plant operates two production lines, exclusively for BMW I, with an annual output of about 3000 tons of carbon fiber. Already this summer, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers will commission a third and fourth production line in Moses Lake, which are currently being built, thus doubling the plant’s capacity to 6,000 tons per year. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony for a fifth and sixth production line has been the first step toward tripling capacities to 9,000 tons annually in the medium term. The energy needed for the carbon fiber production is fully generated from hydropower.

Dr. Klaus Draeger, Board Member Purchasing and Supplier Network at BMW AG: “CFRP is a key material for the automotive industry of the 21st century. In our endeavor to identify increasingly lightweight materials in order to reduce a vehicle’s weight and thus its fuel consumption and carbon emissions, this material plays a crucial role.”

Up to now, the carbon fiber produced in Moses Lake is exclusively used for the BMW I models. Since the start of the year, the Leipzig plant has built over 5,000 BMW i3 vehicles. At present, the production output stands at 100 units a day. Furthermore, the BMW Group has been applying the ultra-lightweight high-tech material also in its BMW M models for the past ten years.

Credits: Oneshift News Team

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