Kobe Steel Ltd. plans to make capital investments of approximately $460 million to enhance the hot-metal treatment capacity at its Kakogawa Works and Kobe Works and the heat-treatment capacity for steel plate at its Kakogawa Works. At Kakogawa Works, a new hot-metal treatment plant will be constructed and desulfurization equipment and a dephosphurization furnace will be installed. This investment will enable all the molten iron to be desulfurized and dephosphorized. Start-up is scheduled for June 2014. In addition, a new continuous heat-treatment furnace will be installed to double heat-treatment capacity. Start-up is expected by the end of 2012.         

New desiliconization and desulfurization equipment will be installed at Kobe Works. The existing hot-metal treatment furnace will be used only for dephosphurization. In the same way as Kakogawa, independent treatment using separate equipment will enable highly efficient processing. Start-up is scheduled for October 2012. These investments will improve production systems and help expand sales of high-end steel plate for the energy industry.