Hyosung and Aramco sign carbon-fiber MOU

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Hyosung and Aramco sign carbon-fiber MOU

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From left, Hyosung Group Chair Cho Hyun-joon and Saudi Aramco CEO Amin H. Nasser sign a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday in Yeouido, western Seoul. [HYOSUNG]

Hyosung will build a carbon fiber manufacturing plant in partnership with Saudi Aramco, the largest petrochemical company in the world.

Top executives of the two companies met Tuesday in Seoul and signed an agreement to establish carbon fiber manufacturing plants in Saudi Arabia or expand facilities in Korea, Hyosung said Thursday.

“We hope Aramco’s business knowhow and Hyosung’s technology will combine to boost future businesses like carbon fiber,” said Hyosung Chairman Cho Hyun-joon. Aramco CEO Amin H. Nasser also attended the signing ceremony.

Carbon fiber products are one fourth the weight but have 10 times the strength of comparable steel products.

It is a core material for hydrogen fuel tanks, which have to be light in weight but also capable of enduring high pressure.

In 2011, Hyosung became the first local company to succeed in developing methods to mass produce the material. In 2013, it built a carbon-fiber factory in Jeonju, North Jeolla. In February, Hyosung started expansion at the site to double annual production capacity to 4,000 tons.

The two also pledged in the agreement to develop partnerships in the chemical and electricity businesses.

This is Hyosung’s second agreement with Saudi’s state-owned company last year. Last March, it signed a deal to partner in chemical, new materials and hydrogen-related projects.

Under the agreement, Aramco was to explore new business opportunities in vehicles and renewable energy, with the help of Hyosung’s accumulated knowhow in new materials like carbon fiber.

Ahmad A. Al-Sa’adi, senior vice president of Aramco’s technical services, made visits to Hyosung’s local facilities to examine technology.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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