South Korean steelmaker POSCO is planning to produce all its steel via the hydrogen reduction method by 2050.

The company is currently looking to finalise the commercialisation of its HyREX technology by 2030, and hopes to convert its Pohang and Gwangyang steel plants to those based on hydrogen technology by 2050.

POSCO will replace existing production methods such as the blast furnace method with the HyREX 1 method at Pohang Works in 2033, according to a company announcement. By 2050, the company will complete hydrogen reduction steel production systems at Pohang Works and Gwangyang Works (three systems at each and six systems in total).

POSCO is developing commercial hydrogen reduction steel technology based on its hydrogen reduction steelmaking method 'HyREX'; an advanced technology based on POSCO’s FINEX fluidized reactor. FINEX, which was first commercialised in 2007, is a facility that can directly use cheap, powdery iron ore and bituminous coal to produce steel without any preliminary treatment of raw materials, claims POSCO.

In July last year, the company signed a business agreement with British plant supplier Primetals, which designed the FINEX facility with POSCO, to supply a tentative HyREX facility. The test facility will be built in 2026 to confirm the possibility of commercialisation. The company will then complete the commercialisation of HyREX technology by 2030.