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Kobe Steel to open welding marketing company in South Korea

June 15, 2011

TOKYO, June 15, 2011 - Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it will open a marketing company for welding consumables in Busan, South Korea from July.

Kobe Steel established Kobelco Welding Marketing of Korea Co., Ltd. in April. Capitalized at 800 million won (about 58 million yen), the joint venture is 51% owned by Kobe Steel. Subsidiary Kobe Welding of Korea Co., Ltd. has a 7% share, Japanese trading firm Shinsho Corporation has 2%, and South Korean trading firm McQAN Corporation has 40%. KWMK employs eight people.

Kobe Steel has been steadily increasing sales of welding consumables in South Korea through McQAN Corporation, which serves as the distributor. When Kobe Steel in 1995 formed Kobe Welding of Korea, which produces and markets flux-cored welding wire for mild steel, it was unable to take full ownership of the unit. Through the cooperation and support of McQAN, however, Kobe Steel was able to establish KWK, which has been steadily expanding its business.

KWK and McQAN have been marketing Kobe Steel's welding consumables to Korean shipbuilders. To the nuclear industry, LNG tanks and other energy fields, export sales from Japan have been mainly handled by McQAN.

Anticipating that demand will decline in the Korean shipbuilding industry in the future, Kobe Steel aims to maintain sales volume by offering welding solutions that combine on-site response and technical development capabilities with welding consumables, construction methods and welding equipment. In the energy field, Korean heavy machinery manufacturers are actively developing overseas markets to gain orders in the energy construction field in emerging countries. Kobe Steel hopes to increase orders from these manufacturers by strengthening its relationship with these companies.

The new marketing company, KWMK, will enable Kobe Steel to build an efficient and effective marketing network in South Korea, as well as further strengthen ties with major customers and secure a large sales volume.

High value-added welding consumables

High value-added welding consumables used in the energy field are such products as welding consumables for heat-resistant, low-alloy steel; welding consumables for low-temperature steel; and welding consumables for nickel-based alloys. They are different from standard welding products, which include welding consumables for mild steel.