With the inauguration of the Toray plant on September 26, the former Lacq gas basin has become a major center for carbon fiber production. The Japanese manufacturer will use the facility to produce polyacrylonitrile (PAN), one of the product's base materials. The plant represents a €100 million investment and has created around 60 jobs.
The inauguration shows that it is possible to keep industry alive even when a field's gas resources are running out. Although Total moved out of the site on December 31, 2013, we have worked hard — with Total Développement Régional (TDR) — to prevent our departure from impacting on the region's industrial vitality. Our strategy was to leave the last 3% of the field's gas so that it can be produced at a low rate for another 30 years. The gas will go to local industry, giving it a guaranteed, inexpensive supply of energy in the form of power and steam. This competitive advantage continues to attract many companies to the basin and some of them, like Toray, have decided to set up new operations there.
Adapted from a press release by David Bizley
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