May 10, 2017
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
TOKYO, May 10, 2017 — Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it plans to increase the heat treatment equipment and surface treatment equipment at its Moka Plant in Moka, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan to meet growing demand for automotive aluminum panel material in Japan.
Total investment is projected to reach approximately 20 billion yen, and construction is anticipated to begin within the current fiscal year (ending March 2018). The new equipment, to have a capacity of 100,000 tons per year, is expected to start up in January 2020.
As environmental regulations become stricter worldwide, the need to reduce the weight of car bodies is increasing and consequently demand for aluminum panel material is projected to grow considerably. Kobe Steel estimates that current demand in Japan and other Asian markets, excluding China, of approximately 40,000 tons per year will increase to over 300,000 tons in 2025.
These investments will help Kobe Steel meet future customer requirements by building a stable supply structure for high-quality aluminum panel material in the Asian market, including Japan and China.
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