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JFE Holdings to spend over ¥650B to upgrade domestic production facilities


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JFE Holdings to spend over ¥650B to upgrade domestic production facilities

JFE Holdings Inc. will spend more than ¥650 billion over the next three years to upgrade its domestic production facilities to increase productivity and competitiveness, Reuters reported Feb. 14, citing JFE Holdings President Eiji Hayashida.

"We've spent a bit more than ¥650 billion in the past three years on domestic facilities and we will need to do it again for the next years, which would give us a very competitive foundation," Hayashida was quoted as saying.

The upgrades will help the Japanese steelmaker meet the auto industry's growing demand for lighter steel and materials to make electric cars.

Hayashida said the company will focus its efforts on meeting demand from automakers looking to shed the weight of gasoline cars by up to 15%.

JFE Holdings is developing lightweight car door panels in partnership with Mitsubishi Chemicals Holdings and is seeking "similar collaborations with multiple partners."

The company is also considering building new lines at its automotive steelmaking plants in China and Thailand if warranted by demand, with a new business plan through March 2021 anticipated in April.

In addition, Hayashida said the company has no plans to raise its stake in India's JSW Steel Ltd. from 15%.

JFE Holdings' consolidated net profit for the nine months through December 2017 jumped 316.3% year over year to ¥138.62 billion, or ¥240.42 per share.

As of Feb. 13, US$1 was equivalent to ¥107.51.