Media, Network, Lifestyle Related Goods & Services - Business Overview
One of S.C. Cement's seven ready-mixed concrete plants in Kyushu. The plants trade under the name "Horiden."
Cement and concrete are basic materials indispensable in the construction of office, residential and other types of buildings as well as for civil and infrastructure engineering works, including bridges and roads. Sumitomo Corporation supplies these essential construction materials globally, boasting the largest sales volume among Integrated trading companies, thereby contributing to economic development not only in Japan but in countries across the world.
Sumitomo Corporation's cement business dates back to shortly after World War II, although the business did not grow substantially until 1963 when Sumitomo Cement Co., Ltd. (currently Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co., Ltd.) was established. That was the year before Japan first hosted the Olympic Games and the country was in the midst of an unprecedented construction boom amid rapid post-war economic growth. It was in this era that Sumitomo Corporation's cement business truly began to prosper. Since then, it has continued to thrive along with the development of expressways, bridges and other forms of social infrastructure nationwide.
In 1988, Sumitomo Corporation established S.C. Cement Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary specializing in sales of cement and related products, to expand the Company's business in this field. Fifteen years later, the subsidiary started manufacturing ready-mixed concrete in the Kyushu region, marking a significant milestone in the history of S.C. Cement as an arm of a Integrated trading company, given that the company grew to cover a wide range of business processes from upstream to downstream, specifically by adding manufacturing and supply of ready-mixed concrete to its original cement sales business. Since then S.C. Cement has expanded its ready-mixed concrete production capacity, currently operating seven plants in Kyushu and holding the top position in the local market in Fukuoka.
Computer control is vitally important to maximize efficiencies in operating ready-mixed concrete plants.
Sumitomo Corporation is a dominant supplier of cement and related products in Tokyo and other large city areas, and in particular remains the market leader in terms of sales of ready-mixed concrete in Tokyo and the surrounding urban area. Behind this unrivaled track record established by Sumitomo Corporation's cement business are the strong ties with the Company's Construction and Real Estate Division. The extensive supplier network developed by the division throughout the industry serves effectively to allow the Company's cement segment to capture information on new construction projects ahead of competitors. This internal cooperation has helped position Sumitomo Corporation favorably to receive orders for a wide range of construction projects from those involving real-estate properties traded by the Company to undertakings for diverse types of urban structures, including office buildings and expressways.
Concrete begins to harden shortly after it is mixed and, in general, site work using ready-mixed concrete must be finished within 90 minutes of production. Large scale construction works consume huge amounts of ready-mixed concrete, particularly during peak times, and it is essential to deliver the required amounts of this "perishable product" according to each user's mix design on time. For some mega projects, temporary plants are often built near work sites to produce ready-mixed concrete, allowing for more efficient supply. Thanks to many years working to meet a broad spectrum of these and other demands, Sumitomo Corporation has gained the trust of users in a wide range of business areas.
Central Japan International Airport, opened in 2005. For the construction of this mega structure on an artificial island more than 70,000 m3 of ready-mixed concrete was used. This was supplied by Sumitomo Corporation.
Sumitomo Corporation has been the exclusive supplier of cement for a number of mega projects in Japan, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Harumi Triton Square and the new terminal of Tokyo (Haneda) International Airport. One of the most recent undertakings involved Central Japan International Airport, nicknamed Centrair, built off the coast of Aichi Prefecture. We set up a ready-mixed concrete plant near the work site jointly with other companies in order to supply the tremendous amount of construction material demanded in the most efficient way. A member of the project team said, "The concrete used in the foundation of the airport structures was nearly 100% supplied by Sumitomo Corporation."
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