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South Korea: POSCO starts S31254 steel production for scrubbers

20 Sep 2019

Pohang-based steel manufacturing plant POSCO on Wednesday (18 September) said it has started mass production of a high quality alloy stainless steel named S31254 to specifically support local scrubber manufacturers.

“Currently, Hyundai Power Systems, Kangrim Heavy Industries & Kangrim Insulation and STI Co. Ltd. are trying to dominate the market,” it notes.

“Earlier last year, the landscape for scrubber production was quite different – only a handful of overseas companies were producing a limited amount of steels for scrubber production.

“With no domestic companies providing base materials for the scrubber, Korean companies faced major challenges to meet the increasing demands – high material costs and over eight-month-long production period.”

POSCO, forecasted demand of steel for manufacturing scrubbers to increase by about 130,000 metric tonnes (mt) for the next five years from 2019; however, the annual global supply of the material was under 10,000 mt.

Europe currently dominates 60% of the scrubber market while the remaining 40% demand has been met by manufacturers based in Korea and East Asia, it notes.

Now that POSCO has succeeded in mass-producing the S31254, it plans to target some of the big manufacturers abroad.

“Due to the tighter environmental regulations, the high-alloy stainless steel market is rapidly changing,” said Young-Hwan Kim, a researcher at the POSCO Technical Research Laboratories.

“The collaborative effort of multiple departments – production, sales, and research – helped create a new market.

“Supplying steel materials to customers who previously had difficulty in obtaining the material was most rewarding. Furthermore, we would like to grow to become the top player for high alloy steel in the global market.”

Photo credit: POSCO
Published: 20 September, 2019


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