POSCO, the world’s fourth largest steelmaker, began work Monday to expand its stainless steel mill in Vietnam to meet a growing demand in housing and infrastructure construction there.
The company plans to nearly triple the annual production capacity of the POSCO VST plant to 235,000 metric tons by February 2012 and 285,000 tons by 2014.
POSCO VST in Dong Nai Province, Vietnam’s only stainless steel cold rolling plant, was established by POSCO in October 2009 after the Korean firm acquired Asia Stainless Corp.
In the first stage of expansion until 2012, POSCO VST will add a cold rolling press with an annual capacity of 100,000 metric tons and annealing equipment capable of processing 200,000 tons per year.
POSCO and Vietnamese government officials including POSCO CEO Chung Joon-yang (third from left), Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa (second from left) and POSCO president Choi Jong-tae (second from right) take part in the ceremony for POSCO VST’s new plant in Dong Nai Province in south eastern Vietnam on Monday. (POSCO)
In the second stage, slated for completion in 2014, another 100,000-ton cold rolling press will be installed in the plant, the company said.
Once the expansion project is complete, POSCO VST will become Southeast Asia’s largest cold rolled stainless steel producer, the company said.
Since establishing POSCO VST, POSCO has been increasing the company’s production capacity in response to the rapid rise in stainless steel demand in the markets, POSCO officials said.
POSCO said that Southeast Asia’s cold rolled stainless steel output currently falls far short of demand, resulting in the majority of such products being imported.
According to the steelmaker, about 310,000 tons of cold rolled stainless steel is produced in the region per year while the demand stands at 660,000 tons.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)