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SWeNT to set up carbon nanotube facility in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan Investment Company OSJC (AIC), Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park LLC (SCIP), and SouthWest NanoTechnologies, Inc (SWeNT) have signed an agreement to set up a major carbon nanotube (CNT) production facility.
AIC and SWeNT will be partners in the project, located at the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park, approximately 20 miles from the capital city of Baku in Azerbaijan.
CNTs are advanced nanomaterials that can enable groundbreaking new applications in many industries including plastics, elastomers, textiles, coatings, etc.
CNTs are extremely stable materials and are considered one of the strongest materials known and they self-assemble into robust networks that maintain electrical conductivity even after significant stretching.
CNTs conduct electricity and heat better than copper and are superior semiconductors than silicon at nanoscale.
Initial production scale is expected to be 1,000 tons per year of CNTs beginning in 2016.
"We are pleased to begin our collaboration with SWeNT and SCIP, and are optimistic about the implementation of this project," said Rovshan Najaf, executive director of AIC.
"The market for CNTs is expected to grow very rapidly over the next decade and this facility will greatly expand our capacity to deliver SWeNT CNT products to customers,” David Arthur, CEO of SWeNT said.
Established in 2001 as a spin-off of the University of Oklahoma and NASA, SWeNT has become a leading developer and manufacturer of single-wall, few-wall and multi-wall CNTs.
SWeNT CNTs are used by more than 1,000 customers worldwide in industries ranging from consumer electronics to energy storage and composite manufacturing.
The combination of SWeNT's patented CoMoCAT catalyst technology and its Catalytic Chemical Vapour Deposition (CCVD) / fluidized bed reactor platform results in the world's most selective and scalable synthesis for CNTs.
Investors in SWeNT currently include Insight Technology Capital Partners, Panasonic Ventures, Itochu Plastics, Counter Point Ventures, Berwind Private Equity, Novus Capital and SOS Ventures of Dublin.
AIC is a state-owned equity investment firm which supports development in the non-oil sector of the national economy via termed-equity injections in partnership with local and foreign investors.
AIC manages quite a diverse portfolio of non-hydrocarbon projects with the overall value currently standing at over $1.1 billion.
Integration of new technologies and know-how and promotion of modernization, innovation, and competitiveness are among the priority objectives of AIC. (AR)