Nippon Steel to expand China plant

JIJI

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. said a joint venture in China will expand production of automotive galvanized sheet metal by 34 percent at a Shanghai plant.

Baosteel-NSC Automotive Steel Sheets Co., a 50-50 joint venture with major Shanghai-based steel maker Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., will build a new manufacturing line at the plant to boost annual capacity by 420,000 tons, Nippon Steel officials said Thursday.

The line, to be realized through a 1.1 billion yuan (¥17.9 billion) investment, will begin operating in the second half of 2015, the officials said.

The joint venture has obtained approval from Shanghai authorities for the plan, aimed at meeting growing demand from Japanese automakers amid China’s expanding vehicle sales.

The new line will also produce high tensile strength steel sheets, which are lighter and stronger than conventional products, also to meet demand in China from Japanese car manufacturers, according to the officials.