POSCO Builds 200M t Plate Mill at Gwangyang

POSCO of South Korea announced on Friday the firm builds new plate mill with 2 million tonnes of annual output capacity at Gwangyang works. The construction works finishes in July 2010 for 1.791 trillion won including expansion of steel making shop. The plate output capacity increases by 80% to 7 million tonnes in 2011 including existing mills at Pohang works. The firm tries to support the competitiveness of South Korean manufacturers including shipbuilders by expanding the supply capacity of high grade plate by 3.2 million tonnes when the firm expects the domestic plate demand will increase by 4.2 million tonnes by 2010. The firm starts plate production at Gwangyang works, which produces only sheet steel items. The firm builds new plate mill in the space near no.1 mini-mill for 855 billion won starting construction in August 2008. The firm supplies plate with 6-200 millimeters thick and maximum 5,300 mm width from the new mill for users including shipbuilders and heavy machinery makers. The firm expands the steel making shop and the downstream operation when the firm has additional capacity to produce pig iron at Gwangyang after the expansion of no.4 blast furnace in 2009. The firm adds a converter and a continuous slab caster to supply annual 2 million tonnes of slab to the new plate mill. The firm plans to produce 3.8 million tonnes of plate in 2007 at existing 3 plate mills at Pohang in the series of expansion. The firm expands the plate output capacity to 5 million tonnes at the existing mills by 2009. The firm has 7 million tonnes of annual plate output capacity after the commissioning of the new mill, which is higher than 6 million tonnes of output by JFE Steel and 6.7 million tonnes of output capacity and 5 million tonnes of output in 2006 by Arcelor Mittal. POSCO expects South Korean plate demand will increase to 13.3 million tonnes in 2010 from 9.11 million tonnes in 2006. The firm estimates the country should import 5 million tonnes of plate in 2010 compared with 3.54 million tonnes in 2006 when the plate output increases to 9.8 million tonnes in 2010 from 6.28 million tonnes in 2006.