Nippon Steel to Expand Plate Output by 600,000 tonnes at Oita

Nippon Steel announced on Wednesday the firm expands the plate output capacity by 600,000 tonnes per year at Oita works by first half of 2009 to meet higher demand for shipbuilding and energy industry. The firm adds rough rolling mill and cutting line for around 20 billion yen to increase the capacity at rolling and finishing process. The plate mill output capacity increases from current annual 2.2 million tonnes to around 2.8 million tonnes at Oita, which is world largest scale as a mill. The firm expands the companywide plate output capacity to 6 million tonnes including mills at Nagoya and Kimitsu. The expansion is a part of strategy to expand supply ability of high grade steel items under the 3-year plan to fiscal 2008 ending March 2009. Plate demand is strong for shipbuilding, energy and construction machinery and the firm gets strong inquiry for high grade plate including high tensile plate with 47 kilogram per millimeters of yield strength for container carrier, EH47 and high performance corrosion resistance plate for oil tanker, NSGP-1. The users urge expansion for the firm under tight supply. The Oita works has a plate rolling mill. However, the one mill process is bottleneck for higher productivity to make high valued items including high tensile plate for shipbuilding due to more reverse times of slab. With new roughing mill, the line with 2 mills could expand the output capacity. The works also expands the finishing process capacity by adding a cutting machine to an existing machine.