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Hydrogen economy

POSCO to transfer hydrogen steel tech to industry peers for shared growth

The global forum on hydrogen iron and steel kicks off in Seoul with 1,200 global professionals participating

By Oct 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo delivers the opening speech at the HyIS Forum
POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo delivers the opening speech at the HyIS Forum

The Hydrogen Iron & Steel Making (HyIS) Forum led by the steelmaker POSCO officially opened Oct. 6 in Seoul with more than 1,200 industry participants from around the world. The two-day forum aims to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen-based steelmaking processes in the industry.   

The industry participants represent a total of 29 different organizations, namely steel companies, materials makers, engineering companies, hydrogen suppliers, energy-related international organizations as well as industry associations.  

Over the two days at the Grand Intercontinental Seoul Parnas hotel, the participating experts, including the chief technology officers (CTOs) of the world’s leading steel companies, will discuss ways to collaborate in developing hydrogen-based steelmaking processes as well as the long-term direction in global low-carbon policies. After the forum, they will move southeast to Pohang city on Oct. 8 for a factory tour at POSCO’s steel plant.

“The hydrogen-based steelmaking technology, currently in its early stages, can be realized only through truly industry-wide global efforts. South Korea will be the first in action to accelerate such cooperation,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivering a congratulatory address online.

The hydrogen-based steelmaking process uses hydrogen, instead of coal as a reducing agent to separate oxygen from iron ore, to produce zero carbon emissions. While the new method is expected to replace the centuries-old blast furnace method, it is still a nascent technology.

The forum also had a large number of participants joining online from in and outside Korea.
The forum also had a large number of participants joining online from in and outside Korea.

“POSCO will globally lead the era of greener steel by offering an open platform where the industry players can develop hydrogen-based steelmaking technologies,” said POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo.

POSCO at the forum also showcased HyREX, a type of hydrogen-based steelmaking technology developed in-house. HyREX is powered by its fine iron ore reduction (FINEX) technology, through which iron ore fines are used together with hydrogen to produce steel.

POSCO’s idea is to share the HyREX technology with other steel companies in the form of an open platform, from which the firms will separately develop later-stage technologies and share the results with each other.

The keynote speakers at the forum emphasized the foremost importance of setting up a hydrogen value chain prior to technological development.

“Prior to the development of hydrogen-based steelmaking technology, an infrastructure of clean hydrogen supply, storage and procurement must first be put in place,” said Dr. Alan Finkel, the special adviser to the Australian government on low emissions technology. 

Write to Jung-hwan Hwang at jung@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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