KOSA Chairman Kwon calls for continuity of industry’s voluntary efforts to restructure steel industry and rely on fundamentals
Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and steel business leaders gesture at a New Year gathering of steel industry business leaders at the POSCO Center in Daechi-dong, Seoul, on Jan. 10. They include Chairman Kwon Oh-joon of the Korea Iron & Steel Association (KOSA), also POSCO chairman, and Hyundai Steel Vice Chairman Woo You-cheol, Dongkuk Steel Vice Chairman Chang Se-wook, and SeAh Steel Chairman Lee Soon-hyung. (Photo: KOSA)
Minister Joo Hyung-hwan of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) called for faster restructuring of the Korean steel industry. MOTIE Minister Joo made the remarks at a New Year gathering of steel industry business leaders at the POSCO Center in Daechi-dong, Seoul, on Jan. 10. “I urge the accelerating of the restructuring of facilities for such steel products as thick plates and steel plates suffering from a structural glut and the developing of value-added steel products and lightweight materials in an aggressive manner,” Minister Joo said. He urged the Korean steel community to improve its position in the global steel market with unrivaled technologies and products to check Japan, which is armed with its own technological power and low yen, and take on China, which has its own vast market and has secured technological competitiveness.
Joo asked for the Korean steel industry to cope with the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution. “Such disruptive innovative technologies as artificial intelligence, IoT and big data have been accelerating the 4th Industrial Revolution, and there is no exception in the steel industry,” he said.
Minister Joo urged the industry to build smart steelworks embracing IoT, big data and AI in the steel production process to max out efficiency and productivity. He also called for the accelerating of the development of functional materials, including superlight weight steel products, composite materials and metal substances for 3D printing. Joo added that the government plans to proactively provide support to spread smart steelworks and develop technologies related to the 4th Industrial Revolution. About 200 people from government, steel industry and other circles participated in the New Year’s event. They included KOSA Chairman Kwon, also POSCO chairman, and Hyundai Steel Vice Chairman Woo You-cheol, Dongkuk Steel Vice Chairman Chang Se-wook, and SeAh Steel Chairman Lee Soon-hyung.
In his speech at the event, Chairman Kwon Oh-joon of the Korea Iron & Steel Association (KOSA) said, “This year is forecast to be a tough year with the sagging demand in Korea and abroad, coupled with the deepening of global protectionist moves amid the global glut.”
“We now live in an era of intense change, and I want to propose tasks our community will have to implement during this year.” He called for continued restructuring of the steel industry, coping with global protectionist moves, the expanding of the use of safe steel products, and the transformation of the industry into an advanced one.
During the event, the KOSA presented a video tilted “The 2016 Tale of People in the Steel Industry,” containing major events, including POSCO Gwangyang Mill’s completed renovation of its fifth blast furnace, Hyundai Steel’s invitational event of foreign buyers, and Dongkuk Steel’s firing up of the blast furnace of the Companhia Siderurgica do Pecem (CSP) steel mill.