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Posco chief proposes joint response to changes in post-COVID-19 era

Posco CEO Choi Jeong-woo delivers a keynote speech at World Steel Dynamics’ online conference Steel Success Strategies on Tuesday. (Posco)
Posco CEO Choi Jeong-woo delivers a keynote speech at World Steel Dynamics’ online conference Steel Success Strategies on Tuesday. (Posco)
Posco CEO Choi Jeong-woo has suggested the global steel industry jointly respond to structural changes accelerated by coronavirus and find sustainable growth measures at a recent steel conference, the firm said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Choi gave a keynote speech on the theme of Post-COVID-19 megatrends at the Steel Success Strategies conference hosted online by World Steel Dynamics.

WSD is a US-based steel research firm that conducts and announces competitiveness evaluations for major global steel companies. It holds the conference every year.

This year’s keynote speakers include six leaders, including Posco Chairman Choi Jeong-woo, Tata Steel CEO Narendran and Nucor CEO Leon Topalian.

In his speech, delivered in English, Choi said steel would be the most important material to improve the quality of human life in the future, defining the steel industry’s megatrends as new mobility, urbanization, digitalization, de-carbonization and de-globalization.

In preparation for the era of new mobility, he said, “The steel industry should actively cope with the paradigm shift in the auto industry by developing ultra-light, high-strength car body and chassis materials based on the high economic feasibility and eco-friendly nature of steel.

“Steel building demand is expected to increase steadily due to the spread of urbanization. In particular, the demand for construction materials is expected to increase to resolve the concentration and complexity of mega-cities,” he said.

“The steel industry should focus on developing high-performance, multifunctional eco-friendly steel materials, as the spread of urbanization is expected to steadily increase the demand for construction steel.”

Regarding digitalization, Choi said that the final goal of the steel industry in the era of the “fourth industrial revolution” should be to realize the “Digital Twin Steel Plant” where optimal facilities and process control are determineed through real-time simulations based on the steel mill’s facilities and process data.

He also stressed that in order to neutralize carbon in the steel industry, the industry should consider ways to utilize various carbon dioxide and steel process byproducts that inevitably occur in the process, and in the long run, decarbonization of the steel process based on hydrogen should be carried out. 

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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