POSCO established a new electric furnace at Gwangyang Steelworks and is promoting a full low-carbon production system.
Electric furnaces will continue carbon reduction until hydrogen reduction steelmaking technology replaces blast furnaces.
POSCO is proclaiming carbon neutrality by 2050 and establishing an eco-friendly production and sales system to comply with increasingly stringent carbon reduction regulations and gain industry competitiveness.
Phase 1 improves energy efficiency and low-carbon fuel and raw material substitution, Step 2 advances scrap utilization and applies CCUS (carbon capture and storage utilization) technology, and Step 3 develops FINEX-based hydrogen reduction steel technology and steel processing. To avoid carbon dioxide emissions.
Current steelmaking technology reduces iron ore using coal-generated carbon monoxide in a blast furnace. This process produces greenhouse gas-causing carbon dioxide. Yet, the hydrogen reduction steelmaking process generates pure water from iron ore instead of coal, achieving carbon neutrality in the steel sector.
Hydrogen reduction ironmaking uses 100% hydrogen to melt DRI in an electric furnace to make molten iron. It contributes to carbon neutrality because it emits no carbon. POSCO wants to improve FINEX’s fluidized reduction reactor technology, which uses 25% hydrogen-containing reducing gas, to finish ‘HyREX’ by 2030. Hirex, which employs fine iron ore, is projected to create low-quality DRI.
POSCO will develop ESF (Electric Smelting Furnace) technology, an electric furnace that can melt low-grade DRI, and equip it with an ideal hydrogen reduction steelmaking system to adapt to low-carbon green growth.
In 2021, Climate Action 100+ and IIGCC assessed POSCO as the only steelmaker establishing a large-scale green hydrogen generation system to sell 30 trillion won in hydrogen. As a carbon neutral example, POSCO is expected to speed the production system’s green steel conversion.
It seeks to increase profitability by growing its range of eco-friendly goods, lowering coal use and introducing new electric furnaces to meet demand for low-carbon products, and developing technology for early hydrogen reduction steel pilot plant development.