By Yuka Obayashi
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's JFE Steel aims to decide this year on a joint venture in India with partner JSW Steel to produce electrical steel sheet used in power plant transformers, JFE Holdings President Koji Kakigi said on Thursday.
Japan's second-biggest steelmaker, which is under JFE Holdings, aims to tap growth in the Indian market by offering advanced steel products to boost efficiency in power generation, Kakigi told reporters.
"We are thinking of developing a business in the higher-end field, using our technology, to create demand for a grain oriented electrical steel sheet together with JSW," Kakigi said.
JFE said last year it would conduct a feasibility study on forming a JV with JSW Steel, in which JFE holds 15% stake, to produce the steel sheet as demand for electric power in India was soaring.
Japanese steelmakers are expanding in India while trimming their output capacity at home.
JFE's bigger rival, Nippon Steel, plans to almost double crude steel output capacity at its India's Hazira plant.
As for the Japanese market, JFE, which also has engineering and trading units, plans to develop its offshore wind power generation business.
"Especially, we want to take on the entire operation and maintenance (O&M) service," he said, adding it wants to become a local O&M contractor for wind turbine makers such as General Electric and Vestas.
JFE may consider acquisitions in areas not covered by the group, such as companies specialising in underwater work, Kakigi said.
Japan plans to install up to 45 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2040 as part of its efforts to curb emissions.
(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by Jason Neely)