Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (SET: IVL), a global sustainable chemical company, today celebrated the completion of a plant to manufacture high-performance nylon yarn for automobile airbags. The new plant in Rayong, Thailand, was constructed by Toyobo Indorama Advanced Fibers Co., Ltd. (TIAF), a joint venture that Indorama Ventures established with Toyobo Co., Ltd in November 2020.
The plant, which has been built on the site of Indorama Polyester Industries PCL (IPI) in Rayong Province, will deliver 11,000 tons of high-performance yarn per year to meet global demand for airbags that is expected to grow by 3 percent to 4 percent annually as automakers equip vehicles with more airbags and emerging economies require cars to adopt more safety features. Test production is scheduled to start in October 2022 with the goal of starting commercial production in the middle of 2023.
Mr Ikuo Takeuchi, President and Representative Director of Toyobo, and Mr DK Agarwal, Indorama Ventures CEO, led the speeches at the ceremony in Rayong, witnessed by Mr Takuro Tasaka, Minister of Embassy of Japan in Thailand and IVL representatives including Mr Aloke Lohia, Group CEO, and Mr Uday Gill, Chief Strategy Officer.
Mr Christopher Kenneally, Executive President, Fibers, said: “Indorama Ventures and Toyobo have been trusted partners for many years, driven by our ambition to provide consistent quality and reliable service to the high-potential airbag industry that demands high-performance products. In doing so, we strive to make a difference for our customers as well as the billions of people whose lives we touch everyday with our products.”
Mr Ikuo Takeuchi, President and Representative Director of Toyobo, said, “With a strong sense of mission and pride, we will produce components for airbags that will protect the lives of automobile drivers and passengers around the world.”
Mr DK Agarwal, CEO at Indorama Ventures, said, “Together, Indorama Ventures and Toyobo represent a winning combination of specialist technical and management expertise, years of close collaboration, and deep knowledge of the automotive safety sector. IVL has many partnerships such as this one across our integrated global value chain, which puts us in a strong position to drive leadership in key sectors where we see potential for growth and mutual collaboration. The completion of this new plant is a milestone event in our long-held commitment to growing our mobility fibers business.”
Mr Takuro Tasaka, Minister of Embassy of Japan in Thailand, said at the event, “The automotive industry is one of the major industries in both Japan and Thailand. As you know, this industry is in the midst of a transformation to electric vehicles while airbags are the cornerstone of safety in any vehicle. Japan will support the safety of mobility in Thailand by using leading and high-value-added textile technology.”
In 2014, Indorama Ventures and Toyobo jointly acquired Germany’s PHP Fibers GmbH, a leading airbag yarn maker. Since then, both companies have strengthened their relationship with a focus to expand in the automotive safety sector. Mr Christopher Kenneally, based in Bangkok, leads IVL’s Fibers segment, which produces fibers and yarns across its Hygiene, Mobility and Lifestyle verticals. Mr Ashok Arora, with over 30 years of experience in fibers and polymer operations, will helm TIAF as CEO while maintaining his role as CTO with IVL Fibers.