Hyundai Steel and POSCO start joint project to recycle seashells

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.

Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Bay – English

Jeollanamdo and Esbjerg sign MoU

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.

Spanish firm to invest $100 m in Jeollanamdo

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).

The Kitchen of Korea gaining popularity in the US online-market

Jeollanamdo’s Amazon Brand Store The Kitchen of Korea has established itself as a popular online store in the US online market. On April 19 the local government announced during an export ceremony that it has already sent its 10th container within 9 month, marking another mile stone since the opening of the specialty brand store The Kitchen of Korea on Amazon US.

The latest container contains 29 agricultural and fishery products from 14 companies from all over Jeollanamdo. In the Jeollanamdo Brand Store red pepper paste, organic shiitake, plum, pear, and citron juice, along with seaweed, abalone and seafood snacks are gaining huge popularity. 

Along with those popular products five new products are shipped for the first time to be newly introduced to the U.S. market, after reviewing the marketability and competitiveness of the products.

As popularity of the brand store The Kitchen of Korea is continuously rising in the US, Jeollanamdo is also focusing on other regions to open similar brand stores, firstly in the European Union.

The Kitchen of Korea

Jeollanamdo is also planing to open Amazon brand stores in the EU by mid 2021. A list of available products and further information on The Kitchen of Korea can be found here.

Moreover, the provincial government is eager to expand its product range in the online market, to establish The Kitchen of Korea further as a distinguished K-FOOD market with high quality organic products. The government keeps looking for more local companies that are willing to export their products to make a wide range of Jeollanamdo’s products available throughout the world.

“If local companies meet Amazon’s food export and sales standards, there will be more opportunities to export them to the U.S. as well as other countries,” said Lee Sang-jin, international cooperation official of Jeollanamdo Provincial Government. “We plan to continue to find small, competitive agricultural and fishery companies and expand their presence on Amazon.”

Korea’s first lithium extraction factory to be build in Jeollanamdo

South Korea’s steel giant POSCO plans to build Korea’s first ever lithium-hydroxide extraction factory in Gwangyang, Jeollanamdo. Lithium-hydroxide (LiOH) is one of the most important components when building battery cathodes for electric vehicles. With the rising demand for batteries because of a rapidly growing EV-market POSCO wants to prepare for the future, in accordance to its own expansions in the EV-production business.
As the lithium price is rising continuously due to the rapid increase in EV-production, South Korea aims to be less reliant on importing Lithium from the global market. So far Korea had to import its lithium from South America, the US and China.

The factory is going to be a joint investment by POSCO and the Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals.
Construction of the plant will already start in mid 2021 and the factory will be finished by 2023. By then the new lithium factory will produce around 43,000 tons of lithium per year. With this amount POSCO can directly and locally supply the lithium for up to 1,000,000 electric vehicles batteries. Building on this, POSCO is already planning to further expand the extraction of lithium so that by the end of 2030 over 220,000 tons of lithium can be directly extracted at Jeollanamdo.

Gwangyang in Jeollanamdo was the logical choice for POSCO as it has already been running a demo-factory in Gwangyang and is operating additional factories in the Gwangyang Bay Area. Just earlier this year in February POSCO Chemical has announced the 4th expansion of its battery cathode plant in Gwangyang. Therefore the extracted lithium can be directly processed at Gwangyang.

As one of the most important locations in EV production and research, Jeollanamdo is also hosting the yearly Yeonggwang e-Mobility EXPO in Yeonggwang. For further information click here.