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Posco completes restoration of all typhoon-hit plants

Posco CEO Choi Jeong-woo (ninth from left, back row) stands with Posco employees upon his visit to Pohang mills, Tuesday. (Posco)
Posco CEO Choi Jeong-woo (ninth from left, back row) stands with Posco employees upon his visit to Pohang mills, Tuesday. (Posco)

South Korea's top steelmaker Posco said Thursday it completed the restoration of its typhoon-hit steel manufacturing plants in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province.

According to Posco, all of its 17 steel manufacturing plants, which are responsible for more than one-third of Posco’s some 13.5 million metric tons of steel products produced annually, will go into full operation starting Friday.

Posco attributed its quick recovery from the storm to its some 1.4 million employees' combined efforts to carry out the maintenance work.

"Domestic and foreign experts had asserted that it was impossible to repair the main motors for steel rolling machines, which weigh 170 tons, within a year," said an official from Posco in a press release.

"But employees dismantled, washed, and assembled the machines themselves, in a bid to accelerate the recovery process," he added.

Posco further attributed the quick recovery of its damaged plants to its collaboration with global companies including JSW Steel, an Indian multinational steel producer.

With Posco especially in need of motor drives that provide electricity to the mills after 11 out of 15 motor drives had been damaged by the storm, Posco said JSW had provided the motors necessary equipment to Posco to expedite the recovery.

Posco further said governmental bodies such as the National Fire Agency and local governments helped, as they provided large-capacity hydro pumps, firefighting pumps and sprinklers while providing the military forces, including the Marine Corps, to help restore its mills.

"All executives and employees, who achieved early normalization of Pohang Steel Mill without a single serious accident, are Posco's proud heroes," said Chairman Choi Jeong-woo upon visiting the Posco's Pohang steel mills on Tuesday.

"Moreover, I deeply thank the government, local governments, and the people for supporting Posco," he added.

Super typhoon Hinnamor hit the east coast of the Korean peninsula on Sept. 6, 2022.

Pohang was the hardest-hit city, leaving 12 casualties that were caught in floods and landslides. Up to 505 millimeters of rain per hour and 38.3 meters per second of wind were recorded.

A day after the typhoon hit, Posco halted all operations at the steel mill, a first since the factory was established in 1973, as storms and heavy rains submerged the Posco's facilities underwater.

In measures to prevent damages beforehand, Posco said it will be "focusing on stabilizing production capabilities and improving efficiency for operating facilities (in Pohang) and reinforce its disaster prevention system, according to the standard of joint public-private steel supply and demand investigation team."



By Lee Yoon-seo (yoonseo.3348@heraldcorp.com)
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