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Posco partners with ExxonMobil to expand into LNG industry

Posco Research Institute President Lee Duk-lak (left) and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Vice President Vijay Swarup pose Wednesday during the inking ceremony. (Posco)
Posco Research Institute President Lee Duk-lak (left) and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Vice President Vijay Swarup pose Wednesday during the inking ceremony. (Posco)

Posco said Wednesday that it has partnered with ExxonMobil, a US-based oil and gas company, to expand into the liquefied natural gas industry with the high-manganese steel it has developed.

According to the South Korean steelmaker, the two companies agreed to have their research institutes -- ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, ExxonMobil Upstream Research and the Posco Research Institute -- work together to further develop high-manganese steel technologies and work toward the application of the products in the LNG value chain and in other energy business areas, Posco said.

For the inking ceremony, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Posco Research Institute President Lee Duk-lak, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Vice President Vijay Swarup and ExxonMobil Upstream Research President Tristan Aspray were present, the company said.

High-manganese steel is 10 percent to 27 percent manganese.

To start, the two sides will review using Posco’s cryogenic high-manganese steel for storage and fuel tanks for ExxonMobil’s future orders of LNG carriers and LNG-fueled vessels.

“This cooperation and commitment to long-term, strategic technology development combines ExxonMobil’s expertise in metallurgy application with Posco’s expertise in world-class, high-quality steel manufacturing,” Aspray said.

“The energy dual challenge, supplying energy for the modern life while minimizing the impact on the environment, is one of the most important issues facing the society. Technology innovation and collaboration are critical today, and we believe that the partnership with Posco will provide novel technology solutions to address the dual challenge,“ Swarup said.

The two companies also vowed to join forces to identify applications of high-manganese steel that were not feasible with carbon steel and to work together throughout the materials development life cycle. This will include new materials development and the optimization of mass production processes.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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