Furukawa-Sky Aluminum Corp. said Friday that it will spend about 40 billion yen to build a Thai factory for aluminum sheet used in beverage cans and automotive heat exchangers.
The move comes in response to the growing demand for locally sourced materials as car industry customers boost overseas production.
Construction of the Rayong Province factory is expected to start in March 2012, with production to begin in January 2014 at an initial annual capacity of 60,000 tons. The company will transfer two cold-strip rolling machines there from a Tochigi Prefecture plant. And a third one, along with equipment for melting, forging and hot rolling, will be installed later to give the site start-to-finish production capability. This will also raise capacity to 100,000 tons in fall 2014, or roughly 22% of the firm’s domestic capacity.
Furukawa-Sky has been exporting aluminum sheet from Japan but will switch to local production.
The product will be shipped not only within Thailand but to other parts of Southeast Asia, China and India. Furukawa-Sky will target 40 billion yen in annual sales in four or five years.
The Thai auto industry has been shaken by flooding, but Furukawa-Sky President Masateru Yoshihara says the impact will be offset by tapping demand across Southeast Asia.
He says the new factory will be safe from floods because it will be located 104 meters above sea level.