Nippon Steel

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. held a ceremony Tuesday in Aichi Prefecture to mark the completion of a new-generation coke oven that improves cost effectiveness by utilizing a more efficient production process.

The new coke furnace in Nagoya Works is the second of its kind for the company, following one in Oita Works completed in 2008, according to Japan's biggest steelmaker.

The oven with an annual output capacity of 1 million tons is designed to increase the proportion of cheaper low-grade coal to 50 percent, compared to 20 percent for conventional models, while making coke of the same quality, the company said.

Coke is produced by baking coal at a high temperature and is used to isolate iron from iron ore.