JFE Steel was founded in 2003 has grown into the 8th largest steelmaker in the world, producing ~29 million tonnes of crude steel in 2018.
The timeline below covers the history of the firm.
1943: Chita Steel Works established as special steel plant.
1970: Chita small diameter seamless pipe mill begins operation.
1971: Chita OCTG seamless pipes first shipped.
1978: Chita medium diameter seamless pipe mill begins operation.
1993: NKK builds No.4 CAL & No.3 CGL in West Japan Works (Fukuyama).
1995: Kawasaki Steel completes #3 HSM in East Japan Works (Chiba).
2003: JFE Steel established from the merger of NKK and Kawasaki Steel.
2004: Acquires small equity stake in Korea's Union Steel.
2004: Signs long-term iron ore supply contract with CVRD.
2005: Finalises Australian iron ore jv deal with BHP (+ others).
2006: JFE Steel Strengthens Ties with South Korea's Dongkuk Steel.
2008: Signs MOU on pelletizing project in Oman.
2009: Agrees strategic auto sheet partnership with JSW Steel.
2010: Acquires stake in Vietnam's Sun Steel.
2011: Begins operating cold rolling mill in Guangzhou City, China.
2013: Commences operation of continuous galvanizing line in Thailand.
2015: Plans to acquire 5% stake in Vietnam’s first integrated steelworks.
2015: Completes iron ore mining business merger in Brazil.
2016: Starts up continuous galvanizing line for autos in Indonesia.
2016: Acquires small equity stake in Egypt's Kandil Steel.
2017: Acquires 1.48% Stake in Indonesian pipe & steel maker SPINDO
2017: Starts work on Byerwen Coal Project in Queensland, Australia.
2017: Automotive sheet jv established with Nucor in Mexico.
2018: Joins forces with Numetal in failed bid for Essar Steel.
2019: Joint Venture shipsand first cargo of hard coking coal.
2019: Gets 50% share of Baosteel Special Steel Shaoguan Co.
2020: Ponders cut in domestic capacity due to declining steel demand.
JFE Steel Corporation's three main production centers are two large coastal steelworks in eastern and western Japan, and the Chita Works. The East Japan Works incorporates facilities in the Chiba District and the Keihin District. The sites cover approximately 15 million square meters and the quantity of crude steel produced amounts to approximately 8 million tons per year. Main products include a variety of steel sheets, stainless steel, plates and pipes. JFE Steel Corporation's West Japan Works comprises the Fukuyama and Kurashiki integrated plants. The Chita Works specialises in the production of steel pipes and tubes.
2004: Union Steel is South Korea's leading steel sheet re-roller, with ownership of the 100kt/year Busan Steel Works.
2005: JFE contract related to a 10 year supply deal for 7mt/year iron ore per annum.
2005: JV agreement was with with BHP Billiton, Itochu Corporation and Mitsui & Co. JFE was to take a 20% equity stake in the BHPB Yandi Western 4 (W4) Mine in Australia in return for an 11 year iron ore supply deal.
2006 tie up with Dongkuk Steel related to cooperation in many areas - including capital, technology and raw-material sourcing. Particulkar emphasis was to be placed on cooperation in Dongkuk Steel's construction of a plate mill in Dangjin; on the provision of manufacturing technology support for production of high-grade steel plate; and on continued stable stable supply of slabs for high-grade steel plate production to Dongkuk.
2008 Oman project was to establish a joint venture company that produces and sells pellets in the Salalah Free Zone, Oman. JFE was to hold 40% of the JV’s shares.
2009: Auto partnership deal with JSW Steel was for collaboration in India in the area of automotive steel including production technologies and supply of substrate materials for hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized products. The scope also covered joint service activities including application engineering and product development for automotive customers.
2010: Sun Steel Joint Stock Company (SUNSCO) is a leading manufacturer of galvanized steel sheet and steel pipe in Vietnam. JFE Steel acquired an 8% ownership stake.
2011: Guangzhou JFE Steel Sheet (GJSS) is a joint venture between JFE Steel Corporation and Guangzhou Iron and Steel Enterprises Holdings Ltd for operation of a new cold rolling mill complex (incl hot dip galvanising) for auto and domestic goods applications. With a HDG capacity of 400kt and an investment cost of $990m (incl cold rolling) this facility was expected to employ a total of 700 staff once full operation commenced.
2013: JFE Steel Galvanizing (Thailand) began operation of a 400kt/year continuous galvanizing line at the company's production facility in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate of southeast Thailand's Rayong Province in April.
2015: JFE involvement in Vietnam centres on minority ownership of Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation (FHS), a joint-venture company that is currently constructing Vietnam’s first integrated steelworks. The project is being spearheaded by FHS’s founder, Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), a Taiwanese integrated supplier of petrochemicals. The integrated steelworks will include a hot rolling mill, blast furnaces and steelmaking facility on a site measuring more than 2,000 hectares in Ha Tinh province.
2015: JFE Steel involvement related to the merger of NAMISA with the mining and logistic assets of Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN) to form a new and more comprehensive Brazilian iron-ore mining business, Congonhas Minerios S.A., in which JFE has a small equity stake.
2016: JFE's new continuous galvanising line in Indonesia produces cold-rolled and hot-dip galvanized steel sheet for automobiles at a site in Bekasi, near Jakarta. The facility has a capacity of 400,000 tons per year, and will produce galvanized steel sheet in widths of 800 mm to 1,850 mm and thicknesses of between 0.4 mm and 2.3 mm.
2016: Kandil Steel produces and sells 600,000 tons of cold-rolled, hot-dip galvanized and colour-coated steel sheets per year. Kandil's steel products are mainly used in home electrical appliances, in the electrical industries, in commercial automotive production and as building materials.
2017: Joint venture with QCoal Pty Ltd centred on Byerwen Coal Project in Queensland Australia came after the Queensland State Government granted mining leases in April 2017 to Byerwen Coal Pty Ltd, a joint venture company between JFE Steel and QCoal, to develop two tenements in the project. The Byerwen mine, which is located in the north-east of Queensland, is expected to primarily produce hard coking coal, a raw material essential for the production of high-quality coke.
2017: JV with Nucor is to be called Nucor-JFE Steel Mexico, NJSM. It will produce automobile steel sheet at a new plant in Silao, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.
2018: ArcelorMittal with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metals were the successful purchasers of Essar Steel.
2019: In January 2019, JFE announced that Byerwen Coal Pty Ltd, a joint venture company in Queensland, Australia between JFE Steel and QCoal Pty Ltd, had shipped its first cargo of hard coking coal produced from the Byerwen Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP), bound for JFE's West Japan Works.
2019: JFE Steel Corporation and Guangdong Shaoguan Iron and Steel Songshan Co., Ltd (SGIS), an affiliate of China BaoWu Steel Group Corporation Limited, reached an agreement under which JFE Steel would obtain a 50% share of Baosteel Special Steel Shaoguan Co, Ltd (BSSS), a 100% subsidiary of SGIS, to launch a joint-venture company with SGIS for the production and sale of specialty bar steel.
2020: Chief Financial Officer Masashi Terahata said in March 2020 that JFE faced stiff competition in Southeast Asia, its top export market, as rival mills, especially those from China, increased production of cheaper steel. As a result, he said, JFE needed to look ahead and make a judgment on the optimal structure of its production facilities for the mid- to long-term.