Through the completion of this new plant, POSCO has become the world's largest thick steel plate producer, with an annual production capacity of 7 million tons, its Pohang Steelworks has an annual production capacity of 5 million tons, and can contribute to addressing the shortage of steel materials faced by many industries, such as shipbuilding.
As of last year, Japan’s JFE Steel Corporation held the world’s largest thick plate production capacity with 5.5 million tons, followed by Nippon Steel Corporation with 5.2 tons and Baosteel with 4.8 million tons.
Approximately 300 personnel, including clients and constructors from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, POSCO E&C, SMS (Germany), CFHI (China), and MCK (Japan) participated in the ceremony along with POSCO Chief Executive Chung Joon-yang and Vice Minister of Knowledge Economy Ahn Hyeon-ho.
OSCO has now become the world’s largest thick steel plate manufacturer with the completion of this new plant in Gwangyang. We can contribute to addressing supply shortages in domestic industries, such as shipbuilding, supplying our high-quality plates in a timely manner, and enhancing the global competitiveness of our clients,” emphasized POSCO Chief Executive Chung Joon-yang.
Due to the fact that it will manufacture steel materials mainly for shipbuilding, marine rescue, and energy and can produce the world’s biggest 5,300mm-wide thick steel plate, this new plant in Gwangyang is expected to contribute to improving the competitiveness of its clients through cost reduction and the production of ultra-wide thick steel plates.
In 2010, Korea imported 4 million tons of thick steel plates to meet domestic demand of 11 million tons. With the operation of the new plant, however, thick steel plate imports are expected to drop to 2.7 million tons this year, creating 1 trillion won in import substitution.
Furthermore, the new plant is designed as a “high efficiency energy plant.” The slabs manufactured in the new plant are delivered to a thick steel plate rolling plant, which was built in July last year, and is standing right next to this new plant, minimizing logistic costs and heat loss.
Considering the fact that local businesses, such as shipbuilding, steel pipes, and heavy industries are affected by the recent earthquake devastation in Japan because they have been purchasing steel materials from Japanese companies, this newly built plant is expected to greatly reduce difficulties in securing steel materials in the domestic market.
In this picture, attendees are pressing buttons to start injecting slabs into the newly completed plant.