RAYONG, Thailand (March 5, 2012)—Bridgestone Corp. has picked Thailand as the site for its latest investment in the growing OTR tire segment, a $615 million plant for radial OTR tires that will begin production in the first half of 2015.
The plant, which will produce tires for construction and mining vehicles, will enable Bridgestone to respond to the increasing global demand for radial OTR tires, the Tokyo-based tire maker said. The investment includes undisclosed funding for the production of steel cord used in radial OTR tires at an existing steel cord plant in Rayong.
The plant, to be built in Rayong's Amata City Industrial Estate, will have daily capacity of 85 metric tons, which won't be reached until the first half of 2019, Bridgestone said. The plant will focus on tires up to 51-inch rim diameter. The company defines tires up to 35-inch rim diameter as small to medium OTR tires, designed for mining, cranes, quarry, port and industrial and construction applications, while those in the 35- to 51-inch diameter category are for mining, quarry and construction vehicles.
The new plant will be Bridgestone's fourth for radial OTR tires when it comes on stream and is the firm's third major investment in this sector in the past year, totaling nearly $2 billion in investments.
Other investments include:
—$1.2 billion in Aiken, S.C., for a radial OTR plant and supporting steel cord production;
—$60 million through 2014 to expand capacity for large and ultra-large OTR radials at its Kitakyushu, Japan , plant by 20 metric tons a day; and
—$60.5 million to increase daily capacity of small and medium-size radial OTR tires at its Hofu, Japan, plant by nearly 15 percent to 94 metric tons by the first quarter of 2014.
The new Amata City Industrial Estate plant, Bridgestone's fourth tire factory in Thailand, will incorporate advanced environmental technologies designed to contribute to resource conservation, the company said, including a system for processing wastewater while manufacturing to maximize water reuse, and a cogeneration system.