Posco-Vietnam’s cold rolling mill that opened in October 2009 has achieved a normal level of production earlier than the company originally expected. The plant’s continuous annealing line (CAL) and pickling line tandem cold mill (PCM) reached planned production rates after five and 5.7 months, respectively, after the launch of the facility.
The achievement has helped Posco-Vietnam establish a stable supply basis to provide the Southeast Asian market with cold-rolled products. The company notes that most of the related plant employees are locals with little experience of high-speed, cold-rolled steel production, which makes achieving the normal production rate and facility stabilization in a short time—while learning skills—even more remarkable.
Support and cooperation of many departments also helped with the achievement, according to Posco. These include the Overseas Cold Rolling Mill Operation Supporting Department, and Production and Technology Supporting Team of Posco-Vietnam.
The cold-rolling mill produced 80,000 tonnes of cold-rolled steel products in March, with an operation rate of 80%—20% higher than projected. Since the beginning of April, the plant has been in full operation, producing 100,000 tonnes of steel.
Most of the 1.2 million tonnes of steel to be produced per year—700,000 tonnes of cold-rolled steel for vehicles and motorcycles, plus 500,000 tonnes of high-quality, full hard steel for construction—will be sold in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian markets.
Steel sales in Vietnam have been growing more than 10% per year, according to Posco, due to the growth of industries such as construction, automobile, home appliances, and shipbuilding. Posco-Vietnam expects to capture a major share of the market and plans to build a 3-million-tonne hot strip mill and a 400,000-tonne CGL plant.
Posco-Vietnam is also working on upgrading its facilities and improving production quality as a first step to producing high-quality steel plates during the second half of this year. The company expects to finish environment- and quality-certification processes by the end of October.