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Japan's Nippon Steel to produce electrical steel sheet by arc furnace in 2022

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Japan's Nippon Steel to produce electrical steel sheet by arc furnace in 2022

Singapore — Japan's Nippon Steel plans to produce electrical steel sheet through an electric arc furnace, with first production targeted in the April-September 2022 fiscal year, the company said Wednesday.

The new Yen 28 billion ($257 million) EAF facility at its Hirohata Works in western Japan will have a 60,000 mt/month capacity. The company currently operates a 60,000 mt/month scrap melting facility at Hirohata, which consumes scrap and pig iron generated at its other works in Japan. But this facility will be shut down when the new EAF comes online.

Electrical steel sheet is mainly used in electromagnetic materials used in transformers and electric motors. Standard sheet is used for basic manufacturing purposes.

A Nippon Steel spokeswoman said there would be little change to the flow of raw materials at Hirohata and the steelmaker's high quality scrap and processing technologies would ensure output at the new EAF is "the highest quality."

A Tokyo-based trader said Nippon Steel would still need to win over Japan's auto sector with its new steel offering. Auto makers would have to trial the new electrical sheet before agreeing to purchasing contracts.

"If the company wins good business, this production process for electrical steel sheet will become popular in Japan because it can reduce costs and is eco-friendly," the trader said.

Nippon Steel produced 20.22 million mt of crude steel during April-September this year, down 1.4% year on year. It expects to reach 40.7 million mt in fiscal 2019 (April 2019-March 2020).

-- Yoko Manabe, yoko.manabe@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Nurul Darni, newsdesk@spglobal.com