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Kobe Steel opens 40 MW compressor test facility

April 12, 2017

Kobe Steel, Ltd.

TOKYO, April 12, 2017 — Kobe Steel, Ltd.’s Machinery Business has opened a 40 MW test facility for large-capacity nonstandard compressors at its Takasago Works in western Japan. Construction of the 8-billion-yen facility began in February 2015.

The new facility was completed earlier this month on schedule and an opening ceremony was held yesterday. About 120 people participated in the event, including Executive Vice President Mitsugu Yamaguchi, head of the Machinery Business, and Senior Managing Executive Officer Takao Ohama, who is in charge of the Compressor Division.

Nonstandard compressors are used in a wide range of applications to compress process gas and for reaction application in petroleum refineries, chemical plants, power plants, steelworks and other facilities. Compressors are essential for plant operation. In recent years, as plants have grown larger and require increased production and higher efficiency, demand has been growing for large-capacity compressors with motor outputs of 30 to 40 MW, mainly centrifugal compressors. In addition, customers have been seeking to source large-capacity compressors from the Japanese and Asian markets.

Kobe Steel had completed product development of large-capacity compressors in the 40 MW class, but lacked a test facility to conduct performance tests at the final stage. To meet this need, Kobe Steel constructed a large test facility that has twice the capacity of its current 20 MW test facility. The new test facility, one of the largest in the world, is capable of handling nonstandard compressors with variable-speed motors of 40 MW. The new facility now enables Kobe Steel to satisfy conditions to enter the large-capacity compressor market.

One of the themes of Kobe Steel’s medium-term management plan is to expand its compressor business. The use of the new test facility will contribute to further increasing sales. The compressor business currently generates annual sales of 80 to 90 billion yen. In fiscal 2020, Kobe Steel aims to achieve sales of 130 billion yen.

Types of compressors Compression method
Centrifugal Uses the centrifugal force from impellers. Comes in two types: integrally geared and single shaft. Kobe Steel excels at integrally geared compressors. As the optimum number of revolutions of the impellers can be controlled, this type of compressor is noted for its high efficiency.
Screw Uses two helical rotors for compression
Reciprocating Uses the reciprocating action from a piston to compress gas in a cylinder

Executive Vice President Mitsugu Yamaguchi gives a speech at the opening ceremony.

Executive Vice President Mitsugu Yamaguchi gives a speech at the opening ceremony.

Kobe Steel’s 40MW compressor test facility: Designed to meet the growing need for large-capacity compressors in the world market.

Kobe Steel’s 40MW compressor test facility: Designed to meet the growing need for large-capacity compressors in the world market.

Participants at the opening ceremony view a large-capacity compressor ready to under testing.

Participants at the opening ceremony view a large-capacity compressor ready to under testing.

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