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 Japan’s Kobe Steel, Ltd. and shareholders of Kobe Special Steel Wire Products (Pinghu) Co., Ltd. (KSP), have agreed to invest approximately $8 million increase the production capacity of the Chinese joint venture that processes special steel wire rod into steel wire.

A press release said that the latest announcement marks the fifth time that production will have been increased for the joint venture, which includes partners Shinsho Corporation, Osaka Seiko Limited, Meihoku Kogyo Co., Ltd., Metal One Corporation and Kyodo Shaft Co., Ltd.

KSP was established in 2007 to supply steel cold heading (CH) steel wire to parts manufacturers for use in making products such as automotive bolts, nuts and bearing products, the release said. Full-scale operation began in 2009. Kobe Steel provides all special steel wire rod used by KSP to ensure that the joint venture production has the same high-quality material.

The release said that the latest capacity expansion was needed to help meet the growing needs of KSP’s customers. Approximately $8 million will be spent to install three additional wire drawing machines, for a total of 11, and two more heating furnaces, bringing the total to eight. The new equipment is anticipated to start up in March and June 2020, respectively. Production capacity will increase to 5,500 metric tons per month, it said.

Kobe Steel has positioned Japan, the ASEAN countries, North America and China as four major areas to process special steel wire rods for supply to parts manufacturers who have set up operations in these countries and regions. To date, Kobe Steel has established two plants in Thailand for wire rod processing, one in the U.S., one in Mexico, and four in China. Looking to the future, Kobe Steel will continue to develop its supply network for high-quality special steel wire rods centered on these four areas.

Published in Industry News

Sampsistemi, a business of Italy’s SAMP Group, announced that it plans to expand the operations of its China-based subsidiary Sampsistemi (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.

A press release said that as a result of the recent acquisition of Setic and Pourtier—two well-known French companies that were part of the Gauder Group—Sampsistemi has decided to expand and strengthen its existing Chinese footprint. The plan is to expand the Setic plant in Changzhou with a significant investment in infrastructure, and to enlarge the production area.

The Setic plant, located in the Xinbei District, covers an area of 6,400 sq m, and it is currently dedicated to manufacturing rotating machines and related equipment for the wire and cable industry, the release said. The expansion plan will increase the manufacturing area up to 10,000 sq m, plus 2.600 sq m dedicated to office space. The unit will be equipped with state of the art assembly lines for wire and cable machinery and an enhanced R&D center with a test lab. Each space will meet the highest safety and quality standards. “The consolidation of the production capacity into one location will allow us to fully synergize the combined know-how and technologies, while providing greater value to our customers.”

“With the acquisition of Setic and Pourtier, Sampsistemi has completed a three-year strategic initiative aimed at strengthening its leading position in the market and meeting the ongoing demand for a single source-provider, capable of supporting the clients with cutting edge solutions,” said SAMP CEO Lapo Vivarelli Colonna. “The new organization will enhance our capability to provide products and services in China, the largest wire & cable market in the world.”

Sampsistemi is a company of the Maccaferri Industrial Group, an international entity active in seven main sectors, with 58 production plants, 4,600 employees worldwide and annual revenues of 1.2 billion euros.

Published in Industry News

South Korea’s trade commission has decided to impose anti-dumping duties on steel wire from China, saying the cheap imports hurt the domestic industry.

Per published reports, the Korea Trade Commission said it will make a recommendation to the finance ministry the levying of 8.6% duties on galvanized low-carbon steel wire imported from China for the next five years. South Korea’s galvanized steel wire market was valued at about US$92.7 million as of 2016, with Chinese products accounting for 70% of the market.

“The trade commission concluded that the Chinese products imported below the fair market value have caused substantial damage to the domestic industry, especially small and medium-sized companies,” the commission said in a release. The finance ministry will confirm the duties on steel wire by July 31.

Published in Industry News
LS HongQi Cable & System, the local manufacturing unit of LS C&S in China, announced that it has won a Kuwait cable deal worth approximately $53 million. Per reports in The Pulse and The Korea Herald, the deal signed with the Ministry of Electricity and Water in Kuwait calls for LS HongQi to provide extra-high voltage underground cables. They noted that this represents the first such order that the company has secured from the Middle East. LS C&S acquired a 91.5% stake in LS HongQi in 2009. The new contract for LS HongQi amounts to more than half of all the company’s last annual revenues. The company, at that point, had mainly covered local cable demand. "LS HongQi C&S has strived to clinch deals in the overseas markets," said Myung Roh-hyun, CEO of LS C&S Asia. "The company expects to log additional deals in the overseas markets." In other news, LS C&S reported that it has won an order for aerial cables worth $60 million from Bangladesh. A press release said that the cables are to be provided on a turnkey basis in which it will be is responsible from cable production to pylon construction. The project is to start this year and be completed by June 2020. "The new project would serve as an opportunity for us to aggressively participate in aerial cable projects overseas," said Myung Roh-hyun, chief executive of LS C&S. The company has so far clinched orders worth more than $100 million, including a $46 million contract in Bangladesh it signed last September to add more underground cables in urban areas.
Published in Industry News
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and state-owned China Telecom are among those taking part in discussions about building a 10,500 km fiber-optic link across the Arctic Circle that would cost an estimated 700 million euros. A report in the South China Morning Post said that China is in discussions with Finland, Japan, Russia and Norway "to create the fastest data connection between Europe and China as soon as 2020." The story said that the faster connectivity with help European financial centers and data hubs, and fits into China’s long-term "Belt and Road" trade-and-infrastructure initiative. The project, made logistically feasible by melting in the Arctic region, furthers China’s growing ties with Finland, the story said. It noted that Xi Jinping is the first Chinese president to visit the country since 1995. A freight railway between the Finnish city of Kouvola and China’s Xian recently opened and Finnair is seeking to become a regional hub for flights between the two continents. Cinia Group, a Finnish government-owned information and communications technology company, has a prominent role in the so-called "Northeast Passage" cable project and is looking for partners. "It has been widely expressed that this cable route would provide a game changer in the industry," said Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, an executive adviser to Cinia. Estimates suggest that the new cable could cut the time delay from Asia to Europe in half.
Published in Industry News
 

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