TOKYO (Feb. 23, 2012)—Bridgestone Corp. plans to spend $60 million through 2014 to expand capacity for large and ultralarge OTR radials at its Kitakyushu, Japan, plant by 20 metric tons a day.
The project at Kitakyushu, the company's second expansion at the plant since it opened in 2008, will boost capacity to 165 metric tons per day of tires used on construction and mining vehicles. The investment includes provisions for expanding capacity at its nearby Saga, Japan, plant for steel cord used in the OTR radials.
The increased capacity will help Bridgestone meet the growing global demand for these products.
Bridgestone is in the midst of a $239 million, two-year project at Kitakyushu to boost capacity 62 percent to 130 metric tons. This week's announcement represents a further 13.5-percent increase and brings company investment at the plant to more than $1 billion since 2007.
This latest capacity expansion also is in addition to the $1.2 billion Bridgestone is spending through early 2014 to build a plant in Aiken, S.C., for large and ultra-large OTR tires, as well as $60.5 million to expand capacity for small and medium-size OTR radials at its Hofu, Japan, plant to 94 tons daily and $20 million for capital improvements to its OTR tire plant in Bloomington, Ill.
The Kitakyushu 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.