Kemrock makes inroads into carbon fibre market

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Kemrock Industries and Exports Ltd, Vadodara has managed to make inroads into the estimated $12 billion global carbon fibre market. In six months, when its production goes on-stream, it will be the only Indian company producing carbon fibre.

Carbon fibre is also called carbon fibre reinforced plastic. It is a very strong and lightweight composite material, which is increasingly replacing aluminium and other alloys in aerospace, military missiles applications, and even F1 racing car industry.

Globally, 70 per cent production of carbon fibres is controlled by Japanese companies, which are reluctant to supply to India for strategic applications.

Difficult to make

Dr S. C. Lakkad, an expert on composites materials and former deputy director of IIT-Bombay, said that carbon fibres are difficult to make as the final product is very sensitive and dependent on the processes it undergoes. While producing the fibres very toxic hydrocyanic gas is also produced, this needs to be contained properly. However, with Kemrock getting into this market, the global monopolies will shatter,” he said

Mr Kalpesh Patel, Chairman and Managing Director of Kemrock, told Business Line that, in this monopoly market his company has managed to make a dent. “Currently, our 300-tonne capacity, created with Rs 200-crore capex, is being fine-tuned and once fully stabilised in six months, we will start production. By 2013, we hope to scale-up our production to 2,000 tonnes,” he said.

To sell the fibres in the global market, Kemrock will consider joint ventures and technology transfer agreements, Mr Patel said.

MoU with HAL

Kemrock has also entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) for a joint venture (JV) company to develop carbon fibre. Three-hundred tonnes of its production will be procured by HAL for aerospace applications.

Foreign companies fear that if Indian moon mission can happen in $100 million, then India can make similar hi-tech products cheaply, and that the value of their products will go down,” Mr Patel said.

Currently, as India is export dependent on carbon fibres, therefore some of these foreign companies sell us the material at inflated rates. They also keep an eye on us, whether we are using it for a missile casing or any other strategic material, Mr Patel said.

Published on March 09, 2011

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