LONDON Nippon Steel &
Sumitomo Metal Corp. (NSSMC) has announced production
optimization plans at its Japanese plants to increase its
competitiveness amid expectations of steady domestic
The midterm management plan also
comes as the company expects new steel works in China and
Southeast Asia to go on-stream by 2015, the company said.
Rationalization at NSSMC will
focus on blast furnaces as well as steelmaking and rolling
equipment in fiscal years 2014-16, the company said.
The Kimitsu plant near Chiba
will operate with two blast furnaces after it takes down its
No. 3 blast furnace at the end of fiscal 2015. Kimitsus
three blast furnaces have a combined capacity of 13.9 million
tonnes of pig iron per year.
The Kimitsu Works also plans to
streamline its No. 1 steel shop by shutting down its No. 5
continuous caster in early fiscal 2014 and shifting to
operating a single basic oxygen furnace in fiscal 2016. The No.
1 shop has three 220-tonne basic electric-arc furnaces, which
contribute to Kimitsus total annual capacity of 10.3
million tonnes of crude steel.
NSSMCs Wakayama Works is
postponing the operation of its new No. 2 blast furnace, but it
will leave the No. 1 and No. 5 blast furnaces in operation, the
Work is also under way to either
shut down or scale back production on flat-rolling lines in
fiscal 2013 and 2014 at the Kashima, Kimitsu, Nagoya and
Wakayama plants, NSSMC said. Most of the lines that will be
shut down or scaled back are those producing value-added
products, such as cold strip mills, pickling lines, annealing
lines and hot-dipped and electrolytic galvanizing lines.
The Kashima and Kimitsu plants
also plan to scale back plate rolling by the second quarter of
fiscal 2013, NSSMC said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.