In Japan, Tenaris has a presence through TenarisNKKTubes in joint venture with JFE Engineering. We specialize in the production of high-grade seamless pipes for oil and gas and industrial applications. Our manufacturing facilities are located in Kawasaki City, Japan, and we have an annual production capacity of 260,000 tons of seamless pipes and a workforce of 600 employees.
In June 1912, Nippon Kokan K. K. (later NKK and now JFE) was established as Japan's first seamless pipe manufacturing company. The first seamless pipe mill was built in Watarida (Kawasaki) in 1913 and began commercial production in April 1914.
During World War I, Nippon Kokan increased its range of products to steel bars, heavy plates and steel sheets. The No.2 Pipe Mill was also constructed to produce smaller diameter pipes.
In 1943, the first Pilger Mill was built in Watarida, but NKK, located in the Keihin Industrial Area of Japan was severely damaged by wartime bombing. By the end of World War II, only a fraction of the rolling mills remained in operation. As part of the country's reconstruction, in 1948 the Japanese government adopted a “priority production system” policy to drastically increase production of basic materials like steel and coal.
Japan experienced unprecedented economic growth in the 1960s spurring steel production. In 1970, NKK made a major investment in seamless pipe mills, installing a hot extrusion mill and a stainless cold drawn, to expand the range of products and sizes as well as to increase capacity. In the 1980s, NKK shifted company strategy from mass-production of standard products and sizes to higher value-added products such as 13% CR , corrosion resistant steel pipes and drill pipes.
NKK entered into a strategic alliance agreement with Tenaris (through Siderca) in 1997. In 1998 the two companies concluded a business and technology partnership agreement that in August 2000 resulted in the new seamless joint-venture company, TenarisNKKTubes.