TOKYO (Oct. 25, 2010)—Bridgestone Corp. has committed $239 million through January 2013 to do a third-phase expansion that will increase capacity by 62 percent at its off-road tire plant in Kitakyushu, Japan.
The project will raise annual capacity at the two-year-old plant to 130 metric tons of rubber consumption a day and the investment sum since 2007 to $956 million, Bridgestone said.
The latest investment includes an undisclosed amount to expand steel cord capacity at its Saga, Japan, plant, which supplies the Kitakyushi plant. This is on top of $30 million Bridgestone invested there three years ago.
The Kitakyushi plant, located in Fukuoku Province on Japan's Kyushu Island, is dedicated to giant OTR tires. The new plant was built on land adjacent to the firm's 40-year-old Shimonoseki, Japan, OTR tire factory. Bridgestone also makes smaller OTR tires at a plant in Hofu, Japan.
Bridgestone said it is projecting a 40-percent jump in demand from 2009 to 2015 for giant OTR tires like those built at the plant.