Kobe Steel has reinstated its medium-term business plan, Kobelco Vision 'G' which was to have been implemented in fiscal 2009, but was delayed due to the sharp deterioration of the world economy last year.

Kobe Steel has now formulated its Medium- to Long-Term Business Vision taking into account that the economy is on a gradual recovery trend.

The new Medium- to Long-Term Business Vision G (where G stands for Global, Group & Growth) provides the framework for the Kobe Steel Group for the next five to ten years. By further integrating the knowledge and technologies of its diverse businesses in materials and machinery, Kobe Steel aims to become a corporate group that:

– Has a presence in the global market;
– Maintains a stable profit structure and a strong financial foundation;
– Prospers together with its shareholders, business partners, employees and society.

In its vision, Kobe Steel aims to achieve consolidated sales of 3 trillion yen ($32bn) and ordinary income of 200 billion yen ($2.1bn). Actively promoting its global business, Kobe Steel envisages that overseas sales will comprise 50% of total consolidated sales.

Iron & Steel Business

The Iron and Steel business is one of eight business divisions ranging from metals through machinery construction to eco solutions. For the steel business, which is the largest in terms of sales, representing 43% of all sales in the 9-months to December 2009, the Vision G programme targets:
– Steadily meet growing demand centred on developing countries – China and India for example.
– Expand the market for high value added steel products including high strength steel and specialty steel.
– Consider the application of direct reduced iron in steel operations. (Kobe Steel owns US based Midrex Corporation which builds gas based DRI shaft furnaces and Kobe has itself progressed coal based rotary hearth technology in the form of the Fastmet process to produce solid DRI from steelplant reverts and the ITMk3 process which produces iron nuggets from low grade ores.

Kobe Steel plans to produce 6.6Mt of crude steel in the 12 months to 31 March 2010, up from its October estimate of 6.4Mt.