Posco, south korean steel company, is preparing to expand abroad and overtake Nippon Steel of Japan as the world’s third-biggest steelmaker, its groundbreaking Finex technology is central to its plans. The
South Korean company is a leader in revolutionising the steel- making process, becoming the first to commercialise next-generation Finex technology, which is both cleaner and cheaper than traditional blast furnaces. Finex facilities are also about 20 per cent cheaper to build than traditional blast furnaces and they produce steel for about 15 per cent less.
Finex steel process compared to blast furnace
At its main base in Po-hang, Posco’s Finex test plant is running on a commercial basis, producing 200,000 tonnes more than its 600,000 annual capacity, and the main plant is capable 1.25m tonnes a year. Posco is now looking to install Finex at plants in Vietnam, India and perhaps even China. [Globol Steel production is about 1.2 billion tons per year]
Mr Lee said: “The Finex technology is good to take abroad because it is cheaper to build Finex plants and the production cost is also cheaper as we can use low-grade iron ore and coal to produce steel with the technology.”
Energy savings from Finex processes
Its relative environmental friendliness is also an attraction for international customers, he said. Finex technology reduces air pollution by up to 99 per cent.
With a cheap iron ore source, Finex technology and fast-growing demand on its doorstep, Posco expects costs at India project to be 30 per cent below that of Korea.
“This implies about 48 per cent operating margin for its [hot rolled steel] business,” UBS analysts said.
The Finex process uses less expensive power-station coal and fine iron ore which is available all over the world (approximately 80 % of iron deposits in the world). Gaseous emissions containing dust, sulfur and nitrogen oxide can be reduced by an average of 90 % with the Finex process compared to previous production methods.
The average water requirement of 155 m³ per metric ton of crude steel can now be reduced to 30 m² per metric ton by means of water treatment and use of a water circuit. However, outstanding consumption levels of 2.7 m³ of water per metric ton of steel are already being achieved.
The Steel industry is responsible for 5 to 12 per cent of all CO2 emissions.