Toho Titanium to Get OK for Airplane Grade Sponge at Wakamatsu

Toho Titanium’s president Takeshi Kurushima said at press conference on Friday Wakamatsu plant in Kitakyushu could get certification in the year to make airplane engine grade sponge titanium for the users. The plant already got certification for airplane body grade sponge titanium. The firm could make sponge titanium at Wakamatsu and Chigasaki plant in Kanagawa flexibly.

Wakamatsu plant started commercial production of sponge titanium in April 2010. The plant with larger reactor and integrated processes realizes around 20% higher productivity than Chigasaki plant. Wakamatsu plant expanded the sponge making capacity from annual 12,000 tonnes to 15,600 tonnes by April 2012.

The firm, however, adjusts the sponge and ingot production at Chigasaki plant in July-September due to higher cost for electricity in the peak time. The firm plans production cut by around 200 tonnes for sponge and by around 300 tonnes for ingot. The firm minimizes the cost increase by adjusting the operation while Wakamatsu plant operates at full capacity.

The firm plans 28,200 tonnes of sponge titanium production in fiscal 2012 started April, which is 22.6% higher than fiscal 2011 level. The firm expects higher demand mainly for airplane. The firm plans 4.3% lower ingot production at 11,200 tonnes due to slow demand for desalination plant in Middle East. The sales increase by 30.9% to 14,400 tonnes of sponge. The sales increase by 35% to 10,800 tonnes for rolled titanium and by 20% to 3,600 tonnes for steel making.