POSCO Chairman Lauds Gwangyang Crew

Team completes improvement on 2nd Blast 
Furnace in record time

he second Blast Furnace at Gwangyang Works with a capacity of more than 4,000 m3 completed its improvement process in only 66 days, the shortest time reported in POSCO's history. It also achieved normalized operations in only three days from the start of its second-generation operation, setting a new world record.
Chairman and CEO Lee Ku-taek, at the executive meeting on May 24, stated that this achievement fortifies POSCO as the global leader in ironmaking technology.
The chairman complimented the workers saying, "We completed the improvement process ahead of schedule based on the competitiveness of our ironmaking technology; we should all have pride in our technological power,"POSCO's new record in normalized operations is three days faster than the preceding record set by Japan's Oita Works in 2004.
The ironmaking department of Gwangyang Works applied know-how earned from the improvement process of the 1st Blast Furnace, and operated the Test Operation Team prior to the improvement process to advance the onset of normalized operations.
The second Blast Furnace at Gwangyang Works celebrated May 20 with a fire-making ceremony to start the furnace. The event was attended by POSCO executives and staff members, including CEO Lee and President Chang Oh-kang, and by representatives from subsidiaries and outsourcing partners, including POSCO E&C, POSREC, POSCON and Chosun Refractories Co. The 2nd Blast Furnace produced its first molten iron on the first day, May 22, followed by 9,000 tons of molten iron on May 24.
Gwangyang's 2nd Blast Furnace launched its first operation July, 1988, and produced a total of 51.51 million tons of molten iron for 16 years and 8 months until March 14, 2005.
It then closed its first generation of operation and refitted with a new furnace body and internal parts to begin its second generation as a blast furnace.
The new blast furnace is a super-sized furnace with a 4,350 m3 capacity, about 15 percent more than the previous furnace. Its annual production of molten iron is expected to increase from 0.45 million tons to 3.51 million tons a year.
POSCO had originally aimed to complete the improvement process in 77 days, which would have already set a new record in POSCO's history, but managed to reduce this period by 11 days and increase its production of molten iron by 0.11 million tons, enough to manufacture about 110,000 automobiles.
Such an astonishing accomplishment came as a result of the development and application of a technique that thoroughly exhausts the remaining molten iron from the furnace.
This method allowed POSCO to greatly reduce the time spent for the removal of remaining molten iron, and ultimately cut-down the improvement process by 25 days from 91 days-the time taken for improvement of the 1st Blast Furnace.
CEO Lee highly commended the Gwangyang 2nd Blast Furnace Improvement Team for successfully completing the improvement process and delivered appreciation plaques to POSCO E&C and POSREC for their efforts in its construction.
Gwangyang Works will maintain stable operations, producing an average of 10,000 tons of molten iron per day and concentrate on improving the ironmaking process to realize high productivity.
The hydroforming plant began production on April 15 this year and at present, with the successful shipping of hydroforming parts to Xian, Chonqing, Chichen, in China following a domestic supply to Ssangyong Automobiles.
In result, stable sales channels have been established both at home and abroad. The hydroforming parts delivered to Xian Chongqing Chichen are engine cradles that support engines. These parts are processed all at once thus minimizing welded portions and reducing processing steps and cost.
In order to expand hydroforming parts exports, besides Chongqhing Chichen of China, POSCO is also actively negotiating with Japanese automobile companies, including Nissan Auto. Hydroforming, the latest technology of its kind, does not weld variously-shaped automobile parts that are separately pressed into complex forms, but rather forms steel sheets into tube shapes in which strong-pressure fluids are poured to enable shaping. POSCO completed a high-tech hydroforming plant in Gwangyang on April 15, and established a general support system for the production of steel plates for automobiles.

POSCO Chairman Lee Ku-taek.

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