POSCO, a South Korean steelmaker, is set to commence construction this month on a hydrogen-based steelmaking pilot facility at its Pohang steel complex in North Gyeongsang Province. With a capacity of 300kt/yr, the facility aims to produce low-carbon steel and reduce carbon emissions by up to 90% by the time it is completed in 2026.
This groundbreaking pilot plant, utilizing fluidized bed reduction reactors (HyREX), will establish POSCO as a pioneer in the industry, distinguishing it from other steelmakers. The company’s long-term goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The fluidized bed reduction reactor employs an innovative fine iron ore reduction technology that combines iron ore fines and hydrogen to produce direct reduced iron (DRI).
While other global steelmakers are still in the experimental stages of hydrogen-fueled steelmaking or rely on a mixture of hydrogen and other fossil fuels for furnace power, POSCO aims to lead the way with its hydrogen-based approach.
POSCO estimates the transformation to hydrogen-based steel production will cost up to 40 trillion won ($30 billion), taking into account expenses related to blast furnaces and investments.