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L&T Kobelco Machinery to hold opening ceremony for rubber machinery plant in India

January 19, 2012

TOKYO, January 19, 2012 - Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that its joint venture with India's Larsen & Toubro Limited has begun production of rubber processing machinery in India. Called L&T Kobelco Machinery Private Limited, the joint venture manufactures rubber mixers and twin screw rollerhead extruders used in making tires.

L&T Kobelco will hold an opening ceremony at 11 am today (India time) at its plant in Kanchipuram, southwest of Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu. Attending the ceremony from Kobe Steel is Executive Vice President Kazuo Shigekawa, head of the company's Machinery Business. Approximately 130 people are anticipated to attend the opening event.

Established in November 2010, L&T Kobelco is capitalized at 500 million rupees (900 million yen). L&T Kobelco is 51% owned by Larsen & Toubro and 49% by Kobe Steel. The company, headquartered in Mumbai, has 54 employees.

Tire and rubber machinery is used to manufacture tires for automobiles and construction equipment. Demand has been increasing in recent years owing to rising production of automobiles mainly in emerging countries. L&T Kobelco plans to market its products in India, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Eastern Europe.

L&T Kobelco is Kobe Steel's fourth manufacturing base. In addition to Takasago, Japan, Kobe Steel's other manufacturing centers are Kobelco Stewart Bolling, Inc. in Ohio, USA and Yiyang Yishen Rubber Machinery Co., Ltd. in Hunan Province, China. Annual sales are anticipated to reach US$45 million in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

A strategic partner of Kobe Steel is Larsen & Toubro, India's largest construction and engineering company. It is India's top manufacturer of tire curing presses used in the manufacture of tires. Since 2003, Kobe Steel has been providing Larsen & Toubro with technology to produce tire curing presses, building a solid relationship over the years.

Making full use of L&T's strong sales network will enable the joint venture to expand sales to markets west of India. L&T Kobelco will also help Kobe Steel further solidify its position as one of the world's top manufacturers of rubber processing machinery.