Tuesday, June 3, 2003

What's the Buzz?

Kobe Steel to build plant in Ky.

The Associated Press

Kobe Steel, a major Japanese steel maker, is building a $32.7 million plant in Kentucky to produce an aluminum material used in making parts for car suspensions.

Production of aluminum forgings at the new plant in Bowling Green will start in June 2005, company spokesman Gary Tsuchida said Monday.

Kobe expects annual sales at the new plant to reach $25 million by its second year. It will employ 78 workers.

The company plans to join with other Japanese companies in the effort, although it has still not decided on the partners, Tsuchida said.

However, officials in Kentucky said a pair of Japanese trading firms - Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. - will own 25 percent and 15 percent of the venture, respectively.

In Kentucky, Economic Development Secretary Gene Strong said the plant and an office building would occupy about 33 acres of the South Central Industrial Park in Bowling Green.

In negotiating to get the plant, the state agreed to pay for worker training, Strong said. The amount is still to be determined, he said. The company also would qualify for a corporate income tax credit of up to $3.8 million per year, he said.

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Kobe Steel to build plant in Ky.
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