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Kobe Steel opens sales unit in Kolkata to market steel production equipment in India

June 30, 2009

TOKYO, Japan, June 30, 2009 - Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it will open today a subsidiary company in Kolkata, West Bengal, to market its steel production machinery in India.

Called Kobelco Machinery India Private Limited (or KMI), the new marketing company will sell steel rolling mills, continuous casters, nonferrous rolling mills and presses. KMI is the first unit in India in which Kobe Steel, Ltd. directly holds an equity share.

Kobe Steel holds a 90% equity share in KMI, while trading firm Shinsho Corporation, a Kobe Steel affiliate, has a 10% share. KMI is capitalized at 4 million rupees. The Managing Director is Yutaka Nakamoto. KMI has five employees.

To date, Kobe Steel's Heavy Machinery Dept. in its Machinery & Engineering Company has marketed steel production machinery primarily in Japan. Realizing the potential of India's growing market, Kobe Steel decided to establish a marketing office in Kolkata. "New steel plant projects are concentrated in the eastern part of India along the Bay of Bengal," said Managing Director Yutaka Nakamoto. "We selected Kolkata because of its excellent location," he said.

Kobe Steel will mainly market its steel bar rolling mills and wire rod rolling mills in India. The other products on its heavy machinery menu are also available.

India's steel production has risen dramatically in recent years. Due to the worldwide economic crisis, Indian steel production has slowed but continues to grow. India's apparent steel use reached 52.6 million metric tons in 2008 and is estimated to rise to 53.5 million metric tons, according to the World Steel Association. India's Ministry of Steel anticipates crude steel capacity of 200 million metric tons in 2020.

Kobe Steel supplies steel bar rolling mills and wire rod mills, continuous casters, nonferrous metal rolling mills (primarily copper and stainless steel), hot and cold isostatic presses, and metal presses. Annual heavy machinery sales amount to roughly 10 billion of yen. Kobe Steel is Japan's top supplier of steel bar rolling mills. Major users of this representative product are electric steelmakers. Applying its know-how from the construction of its first bar plant in 1924, Kobe Steel has supplied over 50 plants over the years.