Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel has announced plans to expand its Chinese joint venture, Kobe Special Steel Wire Products (KSP) to meet increasing demand from the Chinese automotive industry.

KSP increased capacity in 2012 and is now planning to expand further by adding three wire drawing machines to the company's existing five units. Production will increase from 2,500 to 3,500 metric tonnes per month.

There are three more short-time-cycle (STC) annealing furnaces planned, bringing the total to six and also a 6,400 square metre building to house the additional equipment. Start-up is anticipated to be July 2015.

According to Kobe Steel, 'the expanded production capacity and larger facilities will enable KSP to strengthen its supply capability in step with customer needs."