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Posted: February 2, 2008

Toray to Start High-Barrier Film Business in Europe

(Nanowerk News) Toray Industries, Inc. announced that it made a decision to embark on local production in Europe of Torayfan (bi-axially oriented polypropylene (OPP) film) high-barrier metalized film. Toray will establish Toray Films Europe S.A.S., or TFE, in France in February 2008 and newly construct a film production facility (annual capacity of 20,000 tons) and metalizing facility (annual capacity of 22,000 tons). Toray plans to invest approximately 10 billion yen in this project and the facilities are expected to start operations from April 2010.
In the food packaging industry around the world, the diversification of the food culture has led to increasing needs for keeping food products fresh for long periods as well as for delivering them with their original flavor to the consumer. This, in turn, has led to rapidly increasing demand for films with better barrier functions against oxygen and moisture vapor than available in the standard products. By combining its advanced film technology and proprietary metalizing technology, Toray was quick in commercializing high-barrier film responding to the market needs, and its products have been highly acclaimed by the food market.
Toray currently develops and manufactures high-barrier film at Toray Plastics (America), Inc., or TPA, and markets the product primarily in the US and Europe. TPA’s high-barrier film boasts the top market share of about 60% in the North American market owing to its superior barrier functions and high quality.
While it has been exporting such products to Europe from TPA, Toray’s decision this time is in response to the expanding European market for high-barrier film (annual growth exceeding 10%). It is also aimed at establishing a local production structure targeting the high value added product category, based on requests from its valued customers. Toray will position TFE as a core production base in Europe, while developing the next generation high-barrier products at TPA to meet the requirements of the increasingly sophisticated market, to add further value to its business.
The new company is located within the site of Toray Plastics Europe S.A., or TPEu, which is Toray’s polyester film manufacturing base in France. By leveraging technologies and expertise accumulated by TPEu in the production of polyester film and its manufacturing infrastructure, Toray aims to achieve a smooth launch of the Torayfan* business in Europe.
Under the new mid-term business strategies “Project Innovation TORAY 2010 (IT-2010)” introduced in October 2006, the Toray Group has been promoting “transforming to a highly profitable business group” and “expansion of advanced materials” as basic strategies. Also in the OPP film Torayfan* business, Toray aims to expand advanced materials and enhance the business on a global basis through development and production of further upgraded high-barrier films with its sights firmly fixed on the future trends in the food culture.
Profile of the new company

1. Company name: Toray Films Europe S.A.S. (TFE)

2. Location: St Maurice de Beynost (Ain), Rhône-Alpes, France

3. To be established: February 2008 (scheduled)

4. Capitalization: 37 thousand euro (100% owned by Toray Industries, Inc.)

5. Product: forming and vapor deposition of bi-axially oriented polypropylene, OPP, film

6. Capacity: film production 20,000 tons per year vapor deposition 22,000 tons per year (both based on film with thickness of 18 micrometer)

Source: Toray
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