Membrane joint venture in China

The new company, Toray Blue Star Membrane Co Ltd, will manufacture and distribute polyamide composite reverse osmosis (RO) membranes and membrane elements.

The facility will be built in 2009 and the company will be capitalised at US$35 million (about ¥3.5 billion). When the company starts up in 2010 Toray's annual overall production of RO elements will see a 1.5-fold increase compared to 2008 and a threefold increase compared to 2006 when combined with production at their facilities in Ehime, Japan and Toray Membrane USA in California, USA .

Sales of RO membranes in China are reportedly increasing at an annual rate of more than 20% and many manufacturers of membrane are entering into China from all over the world. Toray says that it believes that the water market in China will reach ¥5 billion in the next five years. It aims to capture a 30% share of that market.