Bridgestone will build new OTR tire plant in Japan to meet global demand

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Bridgestone Corp. will build a plant in Japan to produce large and ultra-large radial OTR tires for mining and construction applications. Bridgestone has earmarked 32 billion yen for the new facility, the company's first new tire plant in Japan in 30-plus years.

The factory will be built in Kitakyushu, in Japan's Fukuoka prefecture. Construction will begin during the second half of 2007 with production slated to start some two years later.

"Production capacity is projected to reach 30 tons of new rubber a day for the second half of 2010," say Bridgestone officials. The company will "look into the possibility of further expanding capacity at the new plant as the need arises in light of future demand."

Bridgestone also builds large OTR tires at its Shimonoseki, Japan, plant, whose capacity will be increased by the start of 2008.

"Combined with capacity increases at the Shimonoseki plant, the aggregate production capacity of large and ultra-large tires for mining and construction equipment is projected to climb 40% relative to current levels by the second half of 2010 once the new plant goes on-line."

Bridgestone also is boosting steel cord production at its Saga, Japan, plant in order to supply increased OTR tire production.

The new OTR plant will be Bridgestone's 52nd manufacturing facility worldwide. Bridgestone has plants in 23 countries.

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