According to a November 4 report from Bloomberg, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co (HCME) is to build its third mining equipment factory in Japan as demand for thermal coal rises in Asia. The plant near an eastern port in Ibaraki prefecture is expected to start production in 2013, Senior Vice President Shinichi Mihara said in an interview. The cost of building the factory is being studied and will be part of Hitachi’s three- year $2.4 billion expansion plan. The piece stated that Hitachi is seeking to increase mining revenue as competition in its main construction equipment business intensifies from Chinan, where the government has slowed public works and housing projects to cool the economy. Orders for thermal coal are rising in countries like India, where demand exceeds supply by as much as 14% during peak hours.Hitachi, Japan’s second-largest maker of construction- equipment, holds 40% of the global share for mining excavators weighing between 120 and 800 t, the article stated. The larger models include the 550 t EX5500 and 800 t EX8000. The new assembly plant is expected to increase Hitachi’s sales from mining equipment to 220 billion yen ($2.8 billion) by March 2014, or 20& of revenue, Mihara said. Miners expect demand for coal used in power generation to lead investments in mines in nations including Australia, Indonesia, Africa, Russia and China. Hitachi plans to expand supply of excavators weighing at least 120 t by 60% to 360 units by March 2014 and more than double output to 510 units in the following five years, Mihara stated. Sales of dump trucks weighing at least 140 t are expected to triple in three years. By contrast, demand for construction equipment in China is set to fall 20% to 89,000 units in the year ending March 31, 2012.