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Introduction of Group Companies
Kyushu Steel Center Co., Ltd.
From Value One Spring 2013 No.40
Our Strengths and Distinctive Qualities
Wide-ranging capabilities, from steel product stevedoring to shot blasting, cutting, and block assembly
Around 300,000 tonnes in annual business volume, and a 7 percent domestic share of shipbuilding steel
Also does business with shipyards in Kyushu and Shikoku other than Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.'s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works
High-Performance Plate Processing Center for the Shipbuilding Industry

Kyushu Steel Center Co., Ltd. handles a broad range of operations in the shipbuilding town of Nagasaki, including stevedoring, shot blasting, rustproofing, shearing and processing, and block assembly and welding of steel for shipbuilding. Serving a role in the shipyard's prefabrication processes, the company's Koyagi and Doinokubi plants supply all the steel used at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, which is located next door. Employing the strong capabilities and processing technology it has cultivated over many years, Kyushu Steel Center currently takes orders from shipyards all around the Kyushu and Shikoku regions.

Former Mitsubishi Heavy Industries corporate officer Shigeto Matsumura became Kyushu Steel's president in 2011, and says: "Our company handles approximately 300,000 tonnes of steel for shipbuilding annually, which is around 7 percent of Japan's total. I want employees to be proud of that."With construction volume broadly down, the company faces the "2014 problem,"but President Matsumura is calm in his analysis, noting, "Chinese and South Korean shipbuilders' production volumes have also shrunk, and our view is that Japan's share will rebound after hitting bottom in 2015. There is also a great need for the types of vessels that are Japan's forte, such as ‘eco ships.' We have prepared for that time by emphasizing new customer development and investing in facilities."

Specifically, a 120-tonne jib crane and 100-tonne block assembly conveyor were added last year to enable processing and transport of large block assemblies. "We are currently proposing to Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works that manufacturing operations that overlap with ours and blocks that are highly difficult to assemble be transferred to us,"President Matsumura says. "We can contribute greatly to cutting their costs."

An additional and unique effort that the company began in April last year involves stevedoring, warehousing, shearing, and processing work on aluminum plate used in the storage tanks on LNG carriers. Mr. Matsumura's policy is to take on any challenge to meet customer needs, and with that policy the company is seeking to expand into additional business lines by honing its own capabilities.

Moreover, the company has moved more aggressively to acquire other customers besides Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, which had been previous president Katsumasa Hoshiyama's focus, and these new clients now represent 40 percent of Kyushu Steel's business. The company has attempted to diversify its supply sources by capturing business from majors such as Namura Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.; Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.; and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., as well as specialized manufacturers such as Watanabe Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.; Nagasaki Shipyard Co., Ltd.; and Izutsu Shipyard Co., Ltd., all of which are in Nagasaki.

The company intends to surmount the difficulties of the shipbuilding slump by coupling the strong technical capabilities, functions, and services it has developed with the ability to flexibly tap into and respond to customer requirements.

 

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