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Kobe Steel to produce cast aluminum bars in the US
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Thursday, 22 Nov 2012

Kobe Steel Limited announced that its US subsidiary, Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC is constructing a new production line to produce cast aluminum bars for use in car air conditioning compressor parts.

KAAP will invest approximately USD 11 million in the new line which will go into operation in August 2013. Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, KAAP currently manufactures aluminum forgings for automotive suspensions.

In Japan, Kobe Steel makes cast aluminum bars for air conditioning compressors at its Chofu Works in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan. The cast bars are supplied to Toyota Industries Corporation. Toyota Industries has established a company in the United States called Toyota Industries Compressor Parts America Co. to manufacture car air conditioning compressor parts. Established in February 2012 in Pendergrass, Georgia, the company will begin production in September 2013 and will source all of its cast aluminum bars from KAAP.

KAAP is constructing a new building covering about 39,000 square feet adjacent to its existing facility. KAAP will install a melting furnace, holding furnace, horizontal casting line, homogenizing furnace, roll straightener, and peeling and inspection line. The new plant will have a production capacity of 4,000 tonnes per year. Start up is scheduled for August 2013. KAAP plans to hire 15 people to run the new facility.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the plant site on November 20 to mark the start of equipment installation for the new plant. About 100 people participated in the ceremony attended by Kentucky Governor Mr Steve Beshear; Consul General Motohiko Kato of the Japanese Consulate in Nashville; Warren County Judge Executive Mr Michael Buchanon; Bowling Green Mayor Mr Bruce Wilkerson and other local officials.

Mr Sam Koike president of KAAP said that "This new plant would not be possible without the support of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the city of Bowling Green and the dedication of our employees. We are grateful to you all. KAAP's new investment will help address the growing demand in North America for cast aluminum bars and demonstrates our commitment to supporting our customers globally."

Source - Kobe Steel Limited


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