Reacting to “forecasts of a new spike in neodymium magnet demand,” Japan’s Hitachi Metals says it will begin construction next month of a new plant to produce neodymium magnets for hybrid and electric vehicles in China Grove, N.C.
The new Hitachi Metals North Carolina facility at the company’s ferrite magnet manufacturing base in the U.S., will cost approximately 2 billion yen or $26 million. Production is to start in April 2013, “followed by steady expansion to keep pace with demand.”
The firm says it has taken steps to secure a reliable neodymium supply, noting that “sources should not be limited to China.”
“It is also imperative to reduce production and supply lead times right up to the actual delivery of the magnets, [and] locate production in the vicinity of demand centers to minimize foreign exchange risks,” Hitachi said.
“The launch of this neodymium magnet production facility will bolster the ability of Hitachi Metals to satisfy the expanding demand projected for this type of magnet not only in the United States, but throughout the rest of North America and Europe,” Hitachi said.
Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.