Taiheiyo Cement Corp plans to ramp up its cement production overseas, starting with an investment of more than 10bn yen for a factory in the U.S. state of Arizona.
The plant, located in Rillito, has an annual output capacity of 1.4Mt. But with the four kilns growing outdated, Taiheiyo Cement will replace them with large-scale state-of-the-art equipment and lift annual capacity to 2.3Mt. Construction is to begin as early as this year.
By bolstering capacity, the firm will strive for growth in sales, especially as demand for cement in Arizona booms thanks to a rush of residential construction.
Separately, Taiheiyo Cement is weighing new investment in China, which is seeing brisk demand in construction. The firm is said to be considering the construction of a new kiln at its Dalian facility, which is now running at full capacity. The investment is expected to total 5-10bn yen.
Until now, Taiheiyo Cement had kept its capital spending to a bare minimum. It focused instead on reducing interest-bearing debt, which topped 900 billion yen in the year ended March 31, 2002, but is said to have declined to the 700 billion yen level at the end of March. The company will resume investment overseas now that it has determined that the measures aimed at shoring up its finances are bearing fruit.