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Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) to Expand 30/32-Inch Graphite Electrode Capacity.

Tokyo, Japan, Apr 19, 2007 - (JCN Newswire) - Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) will soon complete the expansion of its production capacity of 30-inch- and 32-inch-diameter graphite electrodes, from around 15,000 tons/year, to 25,000 tons/year. This will be realized with the scheduled completion in July of a new graphitizing furnace at SDK's Omachi Plant, Japan, and the start-up in the third quarter of expanded facilities at Showa Denko Carbon, Inc., SDK's subsidiary in South Carolina, U.S.A.

The expansion is in response to growing demand from electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers. EAF steel production is expected to continue to grow, reflecting the rise in world population and increased supply of scrap iron from growing new economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China. Furthermore, EAF steelmakers around the world are introducing larger furnaces to increase productivity, resulting in greater demand for large-diameter graphite electrodes.

The graphite electrodes are produced by forming, baking, and graphitizing raw material coke. To produce large-diameter graphite electrodes, it is essential that the materials are heated uniformly throughout the baking and graphitizing processes. With a strict quality control system and high process technology, SDK has already secured the leading share of around 40% of the world's large-diameter graphite electrode market. SDK is investing approximately JPY 1 billion in the ongoing expansion work, centering on the installation of the new graphitizing furnace at Omachi.

Under the new medium-term consolidated business plan, the Passion Project, which started last year, SDK is accelerating its growth strategy while strengthening the competitiveness of base businesses. As part of the plan, SDK will continue to strengthen the competitiveness of the graphite electrode business by substantially cutting costs and shifting to the production of high-value, large-diameter electrodes.

About Showa Denko K.K.

Showa Denko K.K. ('SDK'; TSE: 4004, US: SHWDF) is a major manufacturer and marketer of chemical products serving a wide range of fields ranging from heavy industry to the electronic and computer industries. SDK makes petrochemicals (ethylene, propylene), aluminum products (ingots, rods), electronic equipment (hard disks for computers) and inorganic materials (ceramics, carbons). The company has overseas operations and a joint venture with Netherlands-based Montell and Nippon Petrochemicals to make and market polypropylenes. In March 2001, SDK merged with Showa Denko Aluminum Corporation to strengthen the high-value-added fabricated aluminum products operations, and is today developing next-generation optical communications-use wafers. For more information, please visit www.sdk.co.jp.

Source: Showa Denko K.K.

Contact:
Showa Denko K.K.
Nobuhiro Kato
nobuhiro_kato@sdk.co.jp
+81-3-5470-3235


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Publication:JCN Newswires
Date:Apr 19, 2007
Words:436
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