JFE Gains Foothold in NA with Acquisition of Cogent Power from Tata Steel

Japanese steel maker JFE Shoji, acquiring electrical steel processing company Cogent Power in eastern Canada from Tata Steel, sees the move as gaining a powerful foothold for providing transformer cores and serving the automotive industry in North America. JFE is making the acquisition as a 100% purchase of shares from Tata Steel which decided back in 2018 to divest its holding in Cogent Power as no longer being a core asset to its enterprise. 

“The combination of Cogent and JFE Shoji Steel America Inc. will make it possible for JFE Shoji to service the electrical steel market which is expected to grow including automotive field throughout North America,” said Naosuke Oda, president of JFE Shoji Trade Corporation. 

“Furthermore, globally, we expect that the acquisition will enhance our competitiveness by sharing and integrating of the technical skill and business experience which we have developed in Asia and the technical skill and business experience of Cogent in Canada and North America. Through this investment, we will have one of the world’s leading processing and distribution functions for core processing for transformers.” 

Located in Burlington near Toronto, Cogent employs about 300 people and is headed by Ron Harper, CEO. In addition to slitting process, it manufactures mitre cores, wound cores and amorphous cores and is the largest scale core manufacturer for transformers in North America, said Oda. 

Incorporated in 1983, Cogent has grown from a small niche manufacturer of steel components from lower grades of grain oriented electrical steels to an integral part of the North American supply chain for electrical steels for power generation equipment, motors, power and distribution transformers, and specialized magnetic components including magnetic shielding. 

Shown at top are distributed gap wound cores from the company. Among a broad product capability, the company makes amorphous metal transformer cores which can achieve a reduction of approximately 70% in no-load loss. Made with Metglas amorphous metal alloy only 0.001” thick, they enable the production of highly efficient single-phase and three-phase transformers which can significantly improve utility economics and enhance energy conservation. 

It offers a complete spectrum of toroidal core products in bare or coated form, as well as in round or rectangular shapes, made from electrical steels ranging in weight from several ounces to well above 100 lb. Toroidal cores are used in many extremely demanding applications that require a highly precise magnetic performance, all operating at very high or very low induction levels. One of the largest producers of toroidal cores in North America, Cogent supplies core products for current transformers and other metering applications, as well as cores for uninterruptible power supply units and a large variety of other small power applications.  

It also makes highly engineered step-lap cores. In addition to supplying them in conventional, “log” form, Cogent supplies fully assembled step-lap cores, shown above. 

Based in Tokyo, JFE is one of the world’s largest steel producers with 45,000 employees and sprawling operations centered around huge plants in Japan. It operates a large research center in Japan which is an advanced laboratory where its researchers innovate manufacturing technologies and products that expand the possibilities of steel-based materials. Among its many steel products, JFE is a major producer of electrical steel sheets and iron powders.

For more info, see www.cogentpowerinc.com and www.jfe-shoji.co.jp