Bridgestone has unveiled plans to advance expansion of its Kitakyushu plant as increased need for mineral resources fuels a demand for construction and mining vehicles.

The ramped-up second phase production – to start this month – is three months ahead of the planned schedule and will specifically focus on large and ultra-large off-road radial (ORR) tyres.

Bridgestone estimates that following completion of the expansion in the second half of 2012, plant output will be around 80t per day.

Production of ORR tyres at the Kitakyushu plant began last June with employee numbers expected to total 329 in 2012.

Second phase investment at the site will total JPY29.5bn (US$314m) and is in addition to the JPY28.5bn announced for the first phase.