Posted on 28 Nov 2023
After 50 years of growth, POSCO is preparing for the next 50 years with its hydrogen reduction steel technology. The Korean steelmaker plans to finalize the commercialization of its HyREX technology by 2030 and convert its Pohang and Gwangyang steel plants to those based totally on the new steelmaking technology by 2050.
POSCO will replace existing production methods such as the blast furnace method with the HyREX 1 method at Pohang Works in 2033, according to POSCO on Nov. 26. By 2050, the company will complete hydrogen reduction steel production systems at Pohang Works and Gwangyang Works (three systems at each and six systems in total).
POSCO is developing commercial hydrogen reduction steel technology based on its hydrogen reduction steelmaking method “HyREX.” This is an advanced technology developed based on POSCO’s unique FINEX fluidized reactor. FINEX is a facility that can directly use cheap, powdery iron ore and bituminous coal to produce steel without any preliminary treatment of raw materials. POSCO commercialized FINEX for the first time in the world in 2007.
POSCO is accelerating the commercialization of hydrogen reduction steelmaking. In July last year, the company signed a business agreement with British plant builder Primetals, which designed the FINEX facility with POSCO, to design a tentative HyREX facility. The test facility will be built in 2026 to confirm the possibility of commercialization. The company will then complete the commercialization of HyREX technology by 2030.
Based on the commercialization of HyREX technology, the company plans to gradually convert blast furnace facilities at Pohang Works and Gwangyang Works to hydrogen-reduction steelmaking facilities by 2050. There will be six hydrogen-reduction steelmaking systems as the two locations will have three each.
In July, POSCO announced a vision that embodies its 2050 carbon neutrality goal. The vision “Better World with Green Steel” has environmental (innovative technology), economic (sustainable growth), and social (a better future) meanings.
POSCO aims to build global crude steel production capacity of 52 million tons by 2030 and log 100 trillion won in combined sales.
To this end, POSCO is also pumping up its efforts to build eco-friendly commercial production systems abroad. The company plans to ramp up its overseas crude steel production capacity to more than 10 million tons in 2030 from 5 million tons in 2022 to further solidify its position as a global steelmaker.
In Indonesia, POSCO will build a consistent automotive steel production line centered on Krakatau POSCO to secure market leadership in Southeast Asia. In India, the steelmaker will build a low-carbon production base by breaking ground for an eco-friendly facility. It is also planning to expand its share in the Indian market by linking with POSCO’s cold rolling mill in Maharashtra, India.