South Korean steelmaker to invest $60 billion in Australian green steel ventures


Australia has been earmarked as pivotal for South Korean steelmaker Posco in its decarbonisation effort, with the company pledging to invest billions across the green steel supply chain – money which sits alongside massive investments it has already made in Australian resources iron ore, lithium and nickel.

“We see Australia as the most important country in terms of investment for us to secure hydrogen which is essential for hydrogen steel manufacturing,” Posco CEO Jeong-woo Choi said.

“We plan to increase our investments in not only raw material for steel making but also across various fields in Australia including renewable energy, hydrogen and green steel.”

In terms of investment allocation, company has pledged $41.8 billion (USD 28b) for hydrogen production, including renewable energy generation and electrolysis. The further $18 billion (USD 12b) will go specifically towards green steel manufacturing.

This green steel investment plan sits alongside investments Posco has already made in Australia to develop resources such as iron ore, lithium, and nickel, reportedly worth more than 4 trillion South Korean won ($4.5 billion).

Australia’s prime minister Anthony Albanese, having recently met with Posco’s CEO in Canberra, said his government “will actively cooperate with Posco Group’s eco-friendly material businesses for the future.”

Green steel

Posco has said it plans to use green hydrogen to produce hot briquetted iron (HBI), a raw material from iron ore processing. It will then apply its own hydrogen-reducing steel technology HyREX to create a semi-finished steel product.

Green commodities like green steel, fertilisers and so on are, according to BayWa r.e. Australia technology innovation and hydrogen lead Dr James Hamilton, the most sensible focus for green hydrogen industries. This direction is already clear in Europe, Hamilton previously told pv magazine Australia, but remains mostly a glimmer here in Australia, where emphasis is primarily on exporting hydrogen and its derivatives as a fuel.

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