POSCO announced on Oct. 1 that it has completed a high-alloy stainless steel manufacturing system for desulfurization equipment in about half a year this past summer.
The mass production system is contributing to South Korean shipbuilders, which must make a choice out of three options with IMO 2020 scheduled to take effect at the beginning of next year. Desulfurization equipment installation is an expensive yet practical option.
Until last year, European and Japanese companies monopolized the global supply of high-alloy stainless steel for use in desulfurization equipment and South Korean shipbuilders had to pay much. Besides, it took up to nine months for them to receive their delivery. “We can supply the same product within a couple of months and at a much lower price,” POSCO explained, adding, “We are mitigating the cost burden of local shipbuilders by means of a reasonable price.”
POSCO’s market is expected to keep widening. Approximately 12,000 ships are likely to incorporate desulfurization equipment for five years to come. The use of high-alloy stainless steel per ship is estimated at 20 tons to 60 tons and POSCO has an annual production capacity of 6,000 tons. POSCO is also planning to supply the same stainless steel for use in thermal power stations from early next year.