A joint venture, to be based in the United Kingdom, has been announced between Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The two companies want to co-operate in the field of metallurgy and have formed a 'globally operating complete provider' for plants, products and services for the iron, steel and aluminium industries.

The joint venture addresses challenging market conditions and high price pressures in the global metals industry. The plan is for both companies – major players in the metals market – to combine their strengths and establish 'a powerful and globally well-positioned' new business opportunity, according to an announcement on Siemens' website.

MHI will hold a 51% share in the new venture while Siemens will take a 49% stake. The new business will go live in January 2015.

"Siemens and MHI ideally complement one another with regard to their product portfolios, production know-how and geographical spread," Siemens said, explaining how the new JV will employ 9,000 and focus solely on the iron, steel and aluminium industries.

"The bundling of competencies will result in a powerful joint venture that is better able to compensate for market fluctuations," said Siemens.

The move by these two key German and Japanese businesses also reflects the fact that the steel market has shifted to Asia where over 50% of world steel production now takes place. With this in mind and drawing upon the centres of competence of both parties in Europe and Asia respectively, the new joint venture will have a solid regional basis.

"While the technology strengths of Siemens Metals Technologies lie in particular in iron and steel production, casting, automation, environmental technologies and lifecycle services, MHI's technology competence is primarily focused on hot and cold rolling, processing as well as production expertise," claims Siemens. "By combining both portfolios, the joint venture can offer its customers the entire value chain in iron, steel and aluminum production, from technologies for processing raw materials to surface finishing at the end of the production process."