Sumitomo Metals Completes Capacity Expansion for Steel Boiler Pipe

Sumitomo Metal Industries’ pipe & tube company completed the capacity expansion of the heat treating furnace to product stainless boiler tubes at steel tube works in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Sumitomo Metals invested about 500 million yen for the expansion and plans to increase the production by 4,000-5,000 tonnes per year, when the demand is increasing domestically and abroad, especially in China, for boiler steel pipe used at high temperature and pressure.Sumitomo Metals produces small and medium sized seamless steel pipe at Wakayama steel works and large sized at steel tube works. Sumitomo Metals estimates its annual production and sales of seamless steel pipe increases by around 5% to 1.1 million tonnes in fiscal 2005 ending March 2006 from the previous year, exceeding 1 million tonnes for 2 consecutive years.Steel tube works produces stainless boiler tube by extruding original steel pipe from billets produced at Wakayama works and manufacturing the thickness and outer diameter of pipe through the cold rolling processes. Heat treating furnace is the equipment to control the strength, tenacity and corrosion resistance of steel pipe before and after the cold rolling processes.High grade steel pipes, produced at steel tube works, are mainly used for power plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG), chemical industries and plants. In China the social infrastructure is rapidly increased and the construction of heat power plant maintains in boom. In the U.S.A. establishment of LNG plants is increasing sharply. Japanese engineering firms receive much orders related to these constructions in advance of the high technologic skills and the demand maintains brisk for high-grade steel pipe.