Posco CEO tells World Steel Dynamics it's time to innovate
Posco CEO Choi Jeong-woo on Tuesday stressed the need for the steel industry to actively transform in line with shifting automobile trends.
During the “Steel Success Strategies” online conference hosted by World Steel Dynamics, Choi said the steel industry should jointly prepare for economic changes accelerated by Covid-19.
World Steel Dynamics is a steel information service provider based in the United States.
“Covid-19 has shaken the world,” said Choi during his speech. “We are all going through difficult times. In particular, the steel industry has been facing an enormous challenge as demand for steel has plummeted since the outbreak of Covid-19 earlier in the year.”
In response to the post-Covid-19 shock, which has intensified inequality and increased protectionism, he named new mobility, urbanization, digitization, decarbonization and deglobalization as key trends for the future of the steel industry.
“Steel is a high-strength material that is eco-friendly as well as economical," Choi said. "We must take advantage of these characteristics and advocate them so that steel can remain the most preferred material for future cars. The continuous development of joining technologies now allow us to combine different materials such as aluminum and plastic with steel. By combining the advantages of different materials we are able to deliver a multi-material solution.”
Choi projected that the global demand for construction steel will exceed a billion tons by 2030, as 60 percent of the population is expected to live in cities within 10 years. To resolve the centralization and complexity of mega cities, the layout of buildings and infrastructure will become more essential, and structural changes will be inevitable.
“The need for ‘high-performance and multifunctional eco-friendly steel materials’ will increase significantly to prepare for natural disasters such as earthquakes and reduce carbon energy and fine dust,” Choi added.
The use of artificial intelligence and real-time remote control, as well as the effort to reduce carbon emissions, will become inevitable in the future, where technologies continue to develop and responses to climate change rise as unavoidable environment change, according to Choi.
Posco, the largest steelmaker in Korea, was named the world’s most competitive by World Steel Dynamics this year, carrying the honor for the 11th consecutive year.
Following the impacts of the pandemic, Posco reported its first quarterly operating loss in the second quarter. It swung to 261.9 billion won in operating profit in the third quarter, but it is still 60.5 percent lower compared to the same period last year.
BY JIN MIN-JI [firstname.lastname@example.org]