POSCO's Strong
Marketing Push

Steel giant holds EVI program and launches solar power operation

POSCO is trying to expand its share of the automobile steel plate market by holding an EVI or "early vendor involvement"event with automobile companies from around the world.
The steel giant held the "2008 POSCO Global EVI Forum"on Jan. 30 for some 300 officers and staff from 300 automobile and auto parts makers from around the world including GM, Peugeot, and Toyota at the Shilla Hotel in downtown Seoul. EVI will help steelmakers join the development of new car models from the early stages by producing steel plates appropriate for new car models.
During the meeting, POSCO explained its know-how for the production of steel plates for autos in a bid to strengthen its ties with international automakers.
President Yoon Suk-man, in his welcoming speech at the outset of the gathering, said the forum is a timely attempt for boosting mutual value and growth between the steel industry and auto industry. He said POSCO will conduct an EVI publicity campaign around the world to boost the company'svalue in the world steel market and expand its world market dominance by taking advantage of its SCM base network in a number of key countries.
POSCO officials said representatives of major foreign car makers at the meeting such as GM, Peugeot, Toyota and Nissan expressed their interests in POSCO's growth as a major supplier of car steel plates. In response to such expectations on the part of auto makers, POSCO will expand its EVI activities further and be involved from the early stages of the development of a new car model from design, simulation, parts design, application and steel product assembly technologies, among others. POSCO will speed up the delivery of its products through its SCM network in such key countries as Japan, China, Mexico, countries in Eastern Europe and others.
The steelmaker has launched the EVI campaign owing to the advantage of its capacity to produce any kind of steel plates that automakers need.
Many officials of foreign carmakers and parts makers have high expectations that EVI will go a long way to contribute to a rise in quality and a reduction in costs, and cut the production period by supplying the best-suited steel plates.
POSCO officials said the EVI is a sort of customized steel production to suit the customers'demand.
POSCO's sales of steel plate for autos increased three times from 1.7 million tons in 2001 to 5.7 million tons now. This year, the company plans to turn out 6.2 million tons of steel plates for autos, which will secure 9 percent of the world's automotive car steel plate market. Dr. J. Fekete, technology director at GM, said POSCO's advanced high strength steel is a high-quality steel plate that can boost both the safety safety and fuel efficiency of cars and GM expects to continue to maintain cooperative ties with the Korean steelmaker. Nissan's technology manager, T. Kumamoto, also said a global carmaker should be able to get a supply of high-quality steel from anywhere, expressing a strong interest in POSCO's EVI program linking its SCM global network.
In the meantime, POSCO has been speeding up its plan to diversify its business lines into solar power generation.
In a first step toward that direction, the steelmaker covered the roof of a storage house in its steel complex in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province, with solar power generation modules. The company said the structure will be able to generate 1 mw of electricity from solar energy and will also install solar energy modules on the roof of a storage house in its Pohang steel complex in North Gyeongsang Province. Officials of the steel giant said it is the first time such a large solar energy facility has been installed in an industrial complex Korea. The largest solar power facility built thus far in the nation was 27 kw.
POSCO ultimately plans to build a solar power facility large enough to generate 2,500 mw of power a year and sell them to the Korea Electricity Power Corp. That is enough to supply 500 households for a year.
POSCO hopes to secure four advantages from the construction of solar power facilities. First, the steelmaker hopes to earn 1.6 billion won from the solar energy business by putting into use the idle space of the roofs of its plants, which otherwise will stay idle; second, the company hopes to reduce pollutants and protect the environment as the solar energy facilities would eliminate 1,600 tons of greenhouse gases and the company will use the accumulated greenhouse emissions savings to prepare for the implementation of the Kyoto Climate Treaty in the form of CO2 disposition rights. The earnings from the solar energy generation business would account for only 5 percent to 6 percent of the company's total profit, but the steelmaker will continue to operate the business for the sake of environmental protection measures. POSCO also wants to continue to operate the solar power business to help the country develop alternative energy sources by leading the effort as a flag bearer.
The steelmaker has also been operating a hydropower dam near its Gwangyang steel complex by using the wastewater from the steel plant. In August this year, the steel giant plans to launch the construction of a fuel battery production plant. With the start of solar power generation as a signal, the steelmaker will continue to invest in projects to develop new energy sources and reduce green house gas emissions, POSCO President Chung Jun-yang said. nw

POSCO executives and local officials attend the ground-breaking ceremony for POSCO's fuel battery plant in Pohang. POSCO Chairman Lee Ku-taek is 4th R.

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