Pacific Metals Co., Japan’s largest ferro-nickel producer, said it plans to increase output by 21 percent this year after an earthquake and tsunami disrupted production in 2011.
Output will rise to 34,800 metric tons in the year that started on April 1 from 28,700 tons a year earlier, Kosuke Naradate, a company spokesman, said by phone today. The Hachinohe plant in Aomori prefecture, northern Japan, has an annual capacity equivalent to 44,000 tons of refined nickel, according to the company.
Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel Corp., 80 percent-owned by Nippon Steel Corp., has a 10 percent stake in Pacific Metals. Nippon Steel is Japan’s biggest steelmaker. Nickel, used to strengthen stainless steel, fell 0.8 percent to $16,960 a ton at 2:15 p.m. Tokyo time.