The Machinery Business of Kobe Steel, Ltd. has opened a new 40MW compressor test facility as it aims to boost sales by almost 50%.

The new site, located at the company’s Takasago Works in western Japan, is one of the largest test facilities for large-capacity nonstandard compressors in the world.

The opening of the new facility falls in line with Kobe Steel’s medium-term management plan which aims to expand the company’s compressor business and contribute to increasing sales.

Its compressor business currently generates annual sales of between ¥80-90bn ($725m-815m) but the Japanese outfit plans to achieve sales of around ¥130bn ($1.2bn) in fiscal 2020.

Kobe Steel already operates a 20MW test facility but constructed this larger test facility in order to accommodate the product development of large-capacity compressors in the 40 MW class and satisfy conditions to enter the large-capacity compressor market.

Construction of the ¥8bn ($72.5m) facility began just over two years ago in February 2015. An official opening ceremony was held on 11th April, 2017.

A statement from Kobe Steel highlighted that the company had witnessed an increase in demand for large-capacity compressors as plants grow larger and require increased production and efficiency. The company also claims that customers have started to source these large-capacity compressors primarily from the Japanese and Asian markets.

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Source: Kobe Steel

Participants at the opening ceremony view a large-capacity compressor ready to undergo testing.