An explosion took place at South Korean steelmaker POSCO Steel’s Gwangyang plant on Nov 24. Workers were able to extinguish a blaze that followed a roaring sound near a blast furnace within 20 minutes. The plant is located around 420km to the southwest of Seoul.
Though the exact cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained, the leakage of high-pressure gas could be a reason. Three workers were seriously injured and lost their lives in the accident. Operations, however, were unimpacted.
Davis Index understands from the industry participants that the fire incident may not have a major impact on POSCO’s production volume.
In July, POSCO blew its Blast Furnace No. 3 at Gwangyang Works after a second refurbishment. The maintenance project has boosted its internal capacity to 5,500 cubic meters from 4,600 cubic meters, which has, in turn, improved productivity by 25pc taking the annual production capacity to 4.6mn mt per year. In 2019, POSCO announced a plan to invest KRW1 trillion ($896mn) until 2021 to reduce emissions by 35pc by 2024.