Mitsubishi Materials Corp and Tokuyama Corp, the third and fifth-ranked cement producers, are following industry leader Taiheiyo Cement Corp in streamlining production capacity.
Mitsubishi Materials aims to cut its capacity 7% from 9.48Mt to 8.84Mt. Although it operates four plants in Japan, the 640,000t cut will come solely from its Aomori Prefecture site.
With the firm expected to produce 7.3Mt in fiscal 2010, its plant utilization rate will top 80%, compared with the 70% range at present.
Tokuyama next month will idle one of the three facilities at a production base in Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture, lowering the firm’s capacity by nearly 30% to 3.32 million tons. As a result, its plant utilisation rate is expected to improve from 71% in fiscal 2009 to 95% in fiscal 2010. It will also reorganise marketing operations by shutting a sales branch in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture. About 50 employees in its cement division will be reassigned.
Taiheiyo Cement had already decided to slash its domestic production capacity 30% in fiscal 2010, with Ube Industries Ltd to reduce its capacity by 20% starting in April.
Source: Nikkei Report