[Photo provided by Posco]
South Korea’s top steel maker Posco started commercial operation of its upgraded Finex 2 plant and is set on taking its cost-effective, energy-efficient Finex ironmaking technology global.
The Korean company said Wednesday the plant went back into operation last Friday after 79 days of renovation to increase the durability and efficiency of the facilities. The plant successfully produced 1,200 tons of molten iron 26 hours upon heating, the steel maker said.
Finex is an innovative ironmaking process jointly developed by Posco and U.K.-based Primetals Technologies. Capital and operating costs are claimed to be much lower and the process environmentally safer compared to the traditional blast furnace method as molten iron is produced by directly using low-cost fine ore and non-coking coal without the preliminary treatment of raw materials.
The Finex 2 plant had produced 14 million tons of molten iron during its first phase of operation, which lasted almost 11 years.
Posco opened its first Finex plant in 2003 with an annual capacity of producing 600,000 tons of hot metal and has since been stepping up efforts to commercialize the technology. It started operation of the second Finex plant, capable of producing 1.5 million tons per year, in 2007 and the third plant of 2 million ton capacity in 2014.
Posco holds more than 200 Finex-related patents in Korea and 50 patents in 20 countries. It is currently in talks with major steel makers in China and elsewhere to export its Finex technology.
By Kang Doo-soon and Kim Hyo-jin
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