TOKYO — Bridgestone Corp. plans to build its first plant in Japan in 30 years, a $240 million facility that will produce large off-the-road tires.
The tire maker said the facility, located on a 215-acre site adjacent to its existing Shimonoseki factory in Fukuoka Prefecture, will support growing demand for the tires used in mining and construction.
The plant is expected to start production in the second half of 2009 and will have a daily capacity of 30 metric tons of compounded rubber at full output by 2010.
The tire maker has budgeted an additional $29.6 million to expand capacity for steel cord at its Saga, Japan, factory to support the new OTR tire capacity.
The project is in addition to $155 million the company is spending to boost OTR tire capacity 20 percent at the 36-year-old Shimonoseki plant by early 2008. Together, the two projects by 2010 will boost Bridgestone´s capacity for large OTR tires by 40 percent.
In addition, Bridgestone spent $130 million through mid-2006 to double production capacity for small radial earthmover tires at its Hofu, Japan, plant.
Locating the new factory adjacent to the Shimonoseki unit will allow Bridgestone to use existing technologies required in the development and production of the ultra-large radial tires, the company said.
The firm has requested building permits and expects to conclude an agreement in the first half of 2007 following a period of negotiation regarding project details with city officials and approval by the city council.
The factory will give Bridgestone 52 plants located in 23 nations.