POSCO, celebrating its 50th anniversary on April 1, declared a new vision to become a centennial group, aiming to post 500 trillion won in sales in 50 years. POSCO, which now focuses on steel, will diversify its business portfolio so profits are also spread between infrastructure and new growth businesses. The group aims to raise groupwide sales to 100 trillion won, a more than eight-fold jump from the current 60 trillion won.
POSCO Chairman Kwon Oh-joon said, “Three core businesses not only steel, but also infrastructure and new growth businesses, including lithium will be nurtured to make it a group posting 500 trillion won in sales.” Chairman Kwon made the remarks at a ceremony to declare the vision on the occasion of the 50th anniversary at the gymnasium of Pohang University of Science and Technology.
Chairman Kwon stressed that POSCO will have to make success stories anew in infrastructure based on the steel business and new growth areas to address fresh trends.
POSCO Group’s profit from steel-related areas accounts for about 80 percent of its total profits. The vision calls for the group’s profits from steel, infrastructure and new grow engine sectors to be divided by the ratio 4:4:2. According to the vision, the group aims to chalk up 500 trillion won in consolidated sales and 70 trillion won in operating profit by 2068, when the group will celebrate its centennial anniversary.
The infrastructure sector cited by Chairman Kwon encompasses trading, construction, energy, and ICT in which POSCO Daewoo, POSCO E&C, POSCO Energy and POSCO ICT specialize, respectively.
In the energy area, the group will ramp up substantive growth in the power generation businesses it has been implementing. It will expand LNG mid-stream businesses by utilizing LNG terminal facilities. In a long-term perspective, the group plans to make the Gwangyang LNG Terminal an energy hub for Northeast Asia. It plans to aggressively explore business opportunities in line with the government’s policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by expanding investments in the new and renewable power generation sectors.
In the construction area, POSCO E&C has developed a system to design structures in real time by simultaneously contacting cloud system for officials in charge of machinery, equipment, landscape, safety and other areas. It is designed to dramatically reduce the time it takes to design and enhance the quality of construction by helping officials in all areas make up for supplements in real time. POSCO ICT is working on the smart solution project, Dubbed “Smart X” that can be applied to diverse business areas, including AI, big data, AR and blockchain.
The new growth engine businesses POSCO wants to nurture involve energy storage materials and lightweight materials business area. A business in focus is one related to lithium. Chairman Kwon spoke about it during a meeting with reporters on March 31.
As POSCO’s steel-making business contributed to the nation’s industrial development, he said the group’s stable supply of lithium will be a great boom to the Korean secondary battery industry. Lithium is a key material in producing batteries, an essential EV part. POSCO plans to aggressively participate in projects to secure salt water or ores containing lithium while concentrating on the establishment of a mass-production system. POSCO has succeeded in developing its own proprietary PosLX technology, a technology with a competitive edge to extract lithium, in seven years since 2010 when the group launched a project to develop the technology.
The technology can reduce the lithium extraction time from the conventional 12 months to three months, and it is excellent in an economical perspective as the technology can enhance the lithium yield rate from less than 50 percent to 80 percent.
POSCO has succeeded in the commercializing of lithium carbonate, an essential material for the production of EVs, notebook PCs and smartphone batteries, and opened a lithium extraction plant in Gwangyang capable of producing 2,500 tons of lithium carbonate yearly.