Hyundai Steel and POSCO, Korea’s two largest steel manufacturers are starting a joint project in order to recycle seashells for producing steel. So far steelmakers rely on limestone in order to break down iron ore into fine pieces. However, Hyundai Steel and POSCO aim to go greener and as South Korea alone produces over 300,000 tons of discarded seashells every year, the companies plan to recycle them as a replacement for limestone.
Just as limestone, seashells are made mostly of calcium carbonate. So far it was not sure whether or not seashells could be used in the same way as limestone in order to produce steel, as so far no technology existed to extract the needed substance from the seashells. However, thanks to years of research by Jeollanamdo based company Yeosu Bio, engineers came up with the necessary technology on behalf of the two steel giants.
This new technology is hoped to help solve environmental issues connected to steel production and to help the two companies to ensure carbon neutrality in the future.
Moreover, their main steel plant, which is also the largest steel plant in the world is located in the Gwangyang Bay Area in the southern part of Jeollanamdo. Therefore, Jeollanamdo will play an important role in the upcoming greener production of steel.
More information on the Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone can be found here.
Kim Yung-rok, governor of South Korea’s province Jeollanamdo and Jesper Frost Rasmussen, mayor of Esbjerg Commune in the Kingdom of Denmark signed a MoU on Wednesday (30.06.2021) morning.
Through the memorandum both parties promise closer cooperation in the fields of renewable energy to fight climate change together. They plan to achieve this by exchanging information and experience as well as exploring possibilities for joint commercial projects and partnerships.
The main focus of this new cooperation will be on offshore wind energy. Just earlier this year, Jeollanamdo has announced to build a 8.2 GW wind farm at the coast of Sinan county. It will become the largest wind farm in the world. Jeollanamdo and Esbjerg are ideal partners, as Esbjerg is one of the world’s leading ports in providing infrastructure for off shore wind parks in the North Sea of Europe.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the signing ceremony was held online. The MoU will have a duration of three years but can be expended.
During a business forum in Madrid, Spain, with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, South Korea’s President Moon Jae In proposed a closer partnership between the two countries in order to tackle climate change in a combined effort.
Shortly after the meeting two Spanish firms revealed their plans to invest a combined sum of $ 200 m in the renewable energy business in South Korea. While the Madrid based company Ocean Winds will make an initial investment of $ 100 m to establish an offshore wind power plant in Incheon, EDPR will invest an additional $ 100 m in a solar power farm in Goheung, Jeollanamdo.
This investment is another big step in Jeollanamdo’s blue economy plan to become a center of Korea’s renewable energy industry. Just earlier this year, President Moon unveiled plans for the world’s biggest wind farm just west of the coast of Mokpo (Read more here).
Several global players in the chemistry industry have announced to expand the production in their factories in Jeollanamdo. Among them were Korea’s biggest chemical producer LG Chem, as well as Hanwha Corp. and the Korean-Japanese joint venture Kumho Mitsui Chemicals.
Kumho Mitsui Chemicals is a joint venture between Japanese Mitsui Chemicals and Korean Kumho Petrochemical which was formed in 1989. The company announced to add another production facility to its already existing facilitiy in Yeosu, Jeollanamdo. This expansion will increase Kumho Mitsui Chemicals production of polyurethane from 410,000 tons up to 610,000 tons. The additional facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, aiming to start production in early 2024. The expansion is part of Kumho Mitsui Chemical’s vow to contribute to the global fight against global warming. Polyurethane is used in many parts such as the automobile industry and housing sector where it is used as thermal insulation material with a high insulation efficiency.
Hanwha Corp. is another major Korean chemical cooperation which has announced to increase its production capacities in Yeosu Industry Complex, Jeollanamdo. The goal is to build another nitric acid plant in Yeosu in order to four-fold the already existing production capacities, from 120,000 tons up to 520,000 tons. Nitric-acid is used for producing semiconductor and display cleaning solutions. Another part of the production capacity will be used to produce dinitrotoluene, a raw material to produce polyurethane. Hanwha aims to finish the construction of the plant by 2023.
Unlike Kumho Mitsui Chemicals and Hanwha Corp., LG Chem has already finished the construction of an additional facility in order to increase the drastically growing demand for carbon nanotubes. The additional facility will increase the output by 1,200 metric tons from originally 500 tons to now 1,700 tons. Carbon nanotubes are a raw material used in the production of electric vehicle batteries.
The continuous increase in investment in Jeollanamdo proves that Jeollanamdo is taking a leading role in South Korea’s fight against global warming and in the search for eco-friendly solutions in industrial productions. Just last month Korea’s steel giant POSCO has announced similar plans to increase its production capacities in Jeollanamdo and to build Korea’s first ever lithium extraction factory.
POSCO Chemical, part of Korea’s steel giant POSCO, announced that it will expand to a 4th battery cathode plant in Gwangyang, Jeollanamdo in order to meet the huge demands in the electric vehicle (EV) battery market.
POSCO Chemical is one of the main tenant companies of the Main Industrial Complexes in Gwangyang Bay Area. Since 2019 it has been expanding its EV-battery-plants from originally 5,000-ton capacity. The 4th expansion will bring the capacity up to 100,000 tons.
The company will invest about 250 million US dollar in this project and expects the new plant to be operational by 2023. The expansion is part of POSCO’s new brand “e Autopos” which will produce exclusively steel parts and batteries for electric vehicles.
This expansion proves once again that Jeollanamdo plays a crucial part in Korea’s response to climate change and Korea’s growing Blue Economy.