Mr. Mimura Seeks Nippon Steel’s Global Growth

Nippon Steel started to step forward to serve offshore transplants of Japanese automakers and manufacturers. The president Akio Mimura said the firm seeks growth globally through Usiminas of Brazil, which is equity method affiliate of Nippon Steel, though the firm still tries to meet growing demand mainly in Asian market. The firm tries to grow along with expanding steel demand worldwide. Mr. Mimura said the firm keeps negotiating with Arcelor Mittal for the revision of the partnership. He said though he cannot disclose the process, the firm and Arcelor Mittal try to reach agreement to keep the partnership. Mr. Mimura said the firm, Baoshan Iron and Steel and Arcelor Mittal started feasibility study to expand the hot dip galvanizing capacity at the joint venture, Baosteel-NSC/Arcelor Automotive Steel Sheet (BNA). He said they will decide the measurement to meet growing local demand for automotive steel sheet. He said the firm and Arcelor Mittal study to expand the supply ability of hot dip galvanizing steel based in North America on the joint venture, I/N Kote. He said they could utilize other galvanizing lines of Arcelor Mittal. He said the firm keeps talking with Tata Steel to meet growing automotive demand in India though Nippon Steel doesn’t have intention to build integrated steel plant in India. He said they study potential operation including cold rolling mill when the Indian automobile uses mainly cold rolled steel, instead of galvanizing steel. Mr. Mimura said the firm tries to make hot dip galvanizing steel in Thailand based on cold rolled steel from the subsidiary, Siam United Steel (SUS) to meet growing local demand for automobile. He said Nippon Steel could have separate galvanizing line in Thailand from SUS depending on the study. Mr. Mimura said Nippon Steel tries to meet growing demand in South America through partnership with Usiminas of Brazil. He said Nippon Steel supports Usiminas by providing state of the art technology and tries to meet growing demand from global operations of Japanese manufacturers. He said the firm could supply steel products to USA and Europe through Usiminas’ operations. Mr. Mimira said the firm’s main target is to expand output capacity in Japan. The firm decided to reline no.1 blast furnace of Oita works in 2009 to expand the capacity to 5,775 cubic meters as the world largest no.2 blast furnace in Oita. He said the firm increases the raw steel output capacity in Oita to annual 10 million tonnes increasing the company wide capacity to 35 million tonnes. He said the firm has 40 million tonnes of steel source including slab purchase from the partner of Sumitomo Metal Industries. He said the firm tries to increase the output capacity of high grade steel products to meet higher demand.