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Kobe Steel's copper coil slitting company in China to start up

October 25, 2006

TOKYO, October 25, 2006 - Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that its copper coil slitting company, Suzhou Kobe Copper Technology Co., Ltd., will formally open in China tomorrow. Suzhou Kobe slits coiled copper sheet, which is used in electronic materials. The company is based in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, west of Shanghai.

An opening ceremony will be held in Suzhou tomorrow morning. Approximately 100 people are to attend, including customers and local government officials. From Kobe Steel, Senior Managing Director Hiroyuki Nakayama, who is also president of Kobe's Aluminum & Copper Company, and other executives will participate in the event.

Established in May 2005, Suzhou Kobe Copper Technology began the slit processing of copper coils in July this year. Kobe Steel's copper sheet business specializes in copper sheet for semiconductor leadframes and automotive terminals and connectors.

Demand for copper sheet for electronic materials is growing in China, particularly in East China including Shanghai, Suzhou and Hanzhou. Semiconductor manufacturers are setting up plants, creating a need for leadframes. Car production is rising sharply, furthering demand for electrical terminal and connector parts. By the end of 2006, Suzhou Kobe expects to process 160 metric tons of copper coil per month. In fiscal 2008, it anticipates processing 340 metric tons per month.

Until now, Kobe Steel made master copper coils in wide widths and slitted them at its Chofu Plant in Japan. The slit coils were then shipped to customers in China. Now that it is in operation, Suzhou Kobe keeps an inventory of wide-width coils on hand for slitting to customer specifications. The China operation enables Kobe Steel to improve delivery and technical services.

Suzhou Kobe Copper Technology Co., Ltd.
Suzhou Kobe Copper Technology Co., Ltd. is located in Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in China. A 100-percent-owned subsidiary of Kobe Steel, Suzhou Kobe is capitalized at $4.7 million. The president is Minoru Uehara. Approximately 30 people are employed by Suzhou Kobe. Covering 4,000 square meters on property of 20,000 square meters, the plant has a slitter line, a mini traverse machine, and packing and inspection equipment.