Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. has asked rival makers to help produce steel products as its plant in western Japan remains offline after a fire there last week, a company official said Friday.
In addition to drawing on its existing stock and alternative production at three of its other plants in the country, Nippon Steel has tapped JFE Steel Corp. and Kobe Steel Ltd. to help manufacture steel plates, which are used for ships and industrial machinery, the official said.
The fire broke out at the steel plate-making section of its plant in the city of Oita on Jan. 5. The blaze was extinguished the following day but it damaged controlling devices and wiring. The company has set no timetable for the resumption of production, the official said.
The plant was responsible for nearly half of the about 5 million tons of steel plates the company produced in the fiscal year that ended in March 2016.