Asia Pacific currently accounts for approximately 30% of global composites demand but come 2015 it will be home to around half of global consumption.
Indeed production looks set to more than double to ten million metric tons by 2015. This bullish forecast comes from Frédérique Mutel, president and CEO of JEC Composites, organizer of the eponymous trade show in France and Asia. Mutel was visiting Singapore as part of an Asian roadshow for the JEC Composites Show scheduled for Singapore October 12-14.
In terms of growth drivers, different Asian countries are tending to specialize in different application areas. "For China, it's aerospace and wind power," says Mutel. "China is developing its own commercial airliners employing composites, while it is already ranked fourth in the world in wind-turbine production," notes Mutel.
In India, meanwhile, the focus is more on water applications such as piping and tanks, while the country is also making progress in use of natural fibers as reinforcing materials.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore is becoming a center for composite processing for the aerospace sector, while Malaysia is applying composites in the construction sector. There are also strong boat-building industries in South Korea and Australia.
"With the fast pace of growth being set in Asia, there is a strong demand for leading-edge composite applications across a broad spectrum of industries," says Mutel. "The JEC Show Asia 2010 aims to build on the enormous growth potential of the composite industry across the region by introducing innovative, market-ready solutions enabled by composite materials."
This year, the show is set to welcome major players in all segments of the value chain and should attract more than 300 exhibiting companies and 10,000 visitors. Last year's exhibition attracted 7000 trade visitors from 56 countries. —Stephen Moore