POSCO's steel plate used in automobiles displayed at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in January. Some 30 signature steel technologies were introduced during the event. / Courtesy of POSCO
By Jhoo Dong-chan
POSCO Group, the world's fourth-largest steelmaker, is set to become a "total solution provider" in the automobile industry with the company's steel and battery technology.
A POSCO official said Sunday the group will strive to help automakers introduce cars with POSCO's lightweight steel and lithium-ion battery technology.
"POSCO has invested in its R&D unit more than any other company in the market," said POSCO CEO Kwon Oh-joon. "The group owns 10 unique and differentiated steel technologies. POSCO will continue to look into how to contribute to the future auto market with its technologies."
POSCO Body Concept-Electric Vehicle (PBC-EV) steel sheet, the group's latest technology-applied steel plate, offers a 26.4 percent lighter weight in mid-class sedans, where its safety has been given "five stars" from the Europe New Car Assessment Program and "good" from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In January, POSCO held a technology exhibition at the 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, promoting its 30 signature steel technologies for the future. It was the first time a steelmaker had held an exhibition at the NAIAS.
POSCO started building a lithium production plant in February, in Argentina, in a bid to satisfy increasing demand for high-purity lithium secondary batteries. The plant is expected to produce 2,500 tons of lithium batteries a year after completion and 4,000 tons by 2018, supplying anode companies at home and abroad.
The group's lime and refractory-making affiliate, POSCO Chemtech, entered the cathode industry in 2011 and introduced high-capacity cathode materials for EVs for the first time in Korea, gaining attention from the global EV technology market.
POSCO Chemtech's share in the cathode market is expected to reach 10 percent this year, making it one of the world's five-largest cathode material producers, an official said.