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.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee listed four “Getbol”, Korean Tidal Flats, along the south-western coast of the Korean peninsula as a new Natural World Heritage Site on Monday, 26th of July. The official listing happened during the 44th session of the Committee, held in Fuzhou, China. By this, the Getbol become Korea’s 15th World Heritage and just the second Natural Heritage Site, alongside the Jeju volcanic island and its famous lava tubes.
The four Getbol are the Shinan Getbol in Shinan County, Boseong-Suncheon Getbol in Boseong County and Suncheon City, all located in Jeollanamdo, along with Seocheon Getbol in Seocheon County, Chungcheongnamdo and Gochang Getbol in Gochang County in Jeollabukdo.
With 1,100 km² the tidal flats in Shinan have the largest area of the four, while the other tidal flats cover 60 km². Some of them are unique wetlands designated by the Ramsar Convention.
After failing to be listed in 2018 due to a lack of information the World Heritage Committee finally listed the Tidal Flats, acknowledging their outstanding role in forming a unique eco-system along the south-western coast of Korea. The site is not only home to over 2000 species of flora and fauna but is also a stopover for 22 endangered migration birds.
The site demonstrates the link between geodiversity and biodiversity, and demonstrates the dependence of cultural diversity and human activity on the natural environment.
UNESCO World Heritage Committee
The promotion as a UNESCO World Heritage will have a huge positive impact on the region. It will not only raise awareness about this unique ecosystem and draw many tourists to Jeollanamdo, but it will also ensure the highest level of protection for the area and therefore for its wildlife. It will ensure the life of millions of migratory waterbirds for whose survival the Getbol provide a critical habitat.