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Kobe Steel opens large compressor-test facility

By Gerald Ondrey |

Kobe Steel, Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; www.kobelco.com) announces that its new large-capacity compressor test facility has begun operations at the company’s Takasago Works in Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan. Test facilities are essential to confirm the mechanical stability and design performance of compressors, a major product of Kobe Steel’s Machinery segment. The new 4-billion-yen ($44 million) facility, the biggest in Japan, will be able to test large-capacity process gas compressors with variable-speed motors rated up to 20,000 KW. The new facility doubles Kobe Steel’s testing capacity. The start-up of the test facility enables Kobe Steel to develop the global market including the United States, Europe, China and the Middle East. Kobe Steel is making a full entry into the integrally geared centrifugal compressor market, where there are many promising projects. Kobe Steel estimates that it has a 10% share of the world market, which it aims to hike to 20% by fiscal 2012. It also plans to increase its market share of large-capacity screw and reciprocating compressors. Kobe Steel forecasts that its compressor business will post record sales of 74 billion yen in fiscal 2009, ending in March 2010. The company…
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