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Posco to hold international forum for greener steel

Kim Hak-dong, the head of Posco’s steel business, speaks during a press conference at Posco Center in Seoul on Wednesday. (Posco)
Kim Hak-dong, the head of Posco’s steel business, speaks during a press conference at Posco Center in Seoul on Wednesday. (Posco)

Global steelmakers will come together to find ways to decarbonize steelmaking in a forum organized by Posco, the South Korean steel giant said Wednesday.

The Hydrogen Iron & Steel Making Forum 2021, set to take place from Oct. 6-8 on both offline and online channels, is expected to provide a platform for industrywide discussion for major players around the world to join the global movement to reduce carbon emissions.

“Hydrogen-based steel production technology is yet to be realized, and it will take a lot of cost and time for individual companies to develop. And cooperation is key to speed up that process,” Kim Hak-dong, the head of Posco’s steel business, said in a press conference held at Posco Center, the company’s Seoul headquarters.

With its commitment to go carbon neutral by 2050, Kim said Posco will present its hydrogen-based steel manufacturing technology, dubbed HyRex, at the forum.

At the HyIS Forum, supported by the World Steel Association’s Technology Committee, various aspects of green steel production will be discussed, inviting speakers including World Steel Association Director General Edwin Basson and Martin Pei, the executive vice president of SSAB, Posco said.

Posco’s HyRex seeks to replace the existing blast furnaces that use coal with fluidized reduction furnaces, where hydrogen plays the role of coal to produce iron, according to Lee Deok-rak, chief executive officer of Posco’s Institute of Technology.

Lee said Posco already uses fluidized reduction furnaces in its fine iron ore reduction process, using less coal than that used in blast furnaces, and for HyRex they seek to use hydrogen for the entire production process, adding electric furnace facilities.

“We will no longer need the sintering plant and coke plant for steel production,” Lee said.

At the forum, 21 companies and entities in the steel industry, including the respective steel associations of Europe, Japan and China, will participate in sessions to share ideas, Posco said.

The forum will be held at Grand InterContinental Parnas Hotel in Seoul for the first two days, followed by a tour at Posco’s Pohang Steel plant in North Gyeongsang Province on the last day, Posco said.

According to Posco, the company’s Chairman Choi Jeong-woo had suggested the international forum to discuss development and commercialization of hydrogen steelmaking technology at the 52nd World Steel Association’s Technology Committee meeting in May 2020.

In making the proposal to lead the green steelmaking agenda, Posco highlighted how collective efforts are needed for new carbon neutral steelmaking technology, as countries, including South Korea, have announced their commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

In December 2020, Posco pledged to go carbon neutral by 2050 and transform its production system to lower emissions of harmful greenhouse gases.

By Jo He-rim (
Korea Herald daum