Kobe Steel Ltd. plans to invest approximately $16 million to increase the production capacity of its steel powder plant in Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan. The production capacity of steel powder products will increase to 110,000 metric tons per year from the current 96,000 metric tons per year. Mass production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2021. Kobe Steel will install another reduction furnace to enable higher treatment temperatures than the current furnaces.

Kobe Steel's steel powder products are mainly used in powder metallurgy to make automotive sintered parts. With car production forecast to increase over the medium to long term, demand for steel powders is anticipated to grow, leading to the company’s decision to increase production capacity. The investment will allow Kobe Steel to provide a stable supply of steel powders and better respond to customer needs.