Thursday, October 14, 2010

POSCO in the news

POSCO, the world's third-largest steel producer, and the corporate behemoth that comprises Pohang's financial lifeblood, is in the news for a couple of reasons today.

They have just resumed operation of Korea's largest blast furnace - the fourth largest in the world - after a 3-month hiatus for repairs. According to The Korea Times,

[POSCO] also said that its daily production capacity is over 14,500 tons, equivalent to manufacturing 14,500 vehicles, and the production is at the top level of the industry.
14,500 vehicles' worth of steel production - PER DAY?! Boy, do I take the industrialization of the world for granted.

Furthermore, the plant expects an annual production capacity of 41 million tons (which would bump them up to the world's #2 producer). To put POSCO's importance to Korea into perspective, the entire country of Korea produced 48.6 million tons of steel in 2009. Korea is the world's sixth-largest steel producer.

[Interestingly, steel production has been falling significantly over the last three years for all of the world's major producers except China and India. I couldn't find any info about this production change on the World Steel Association's website, which unsurprisingly paints a rosy picture of steel production.]

POSCO is also reported to be launching a program in partnership with the city of Busan to build a waste-to-energy power plant capable of producing 25 megawatts, or enough electricity to meet the demands of 40,000 households.
This marks the country’s first attempt of creating power from RDF, which refers to a fuel produced by shredding and dehydrating municipal solid waste including such materials as plastics.

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