Blast Furnace No. 1 at POSCO's Gwangyang Steelworks in South Jeolla Province has been reignited as the largest blast furnace in the world.
POSCO held a ceremony for the initial firing of Gwangyang Steelworks Blast Furnace No. 1 on Friday after completing the project to renovate the facility.
At the ceremony, POSCO Chairman Chung Joon-yang said, Gwangyang Blast Furnace No. 1 has become the symbol that is responsible for production of world best molten iron as it represents the integration of POSCO's unique technological capacity in the entire iron-making process, including blast furnace operation, raw material quality, and management of facilities.
POSCO expanded the internal capacity of Blast Furnace No. 1 from 3,800 cubic meters to 6,000 cubic meters by mobilizing all different innovative engineering methods through the project. It is the world's largest in scale that exceeds Chinese Shagang Group's Blast Furnace No. 1 (5,800 cubic meters), which was previously the biggest. There are 21 large scale blast furnaces with a capacity of over 5,000 cubic meters each worldwide.
With the upgrading project, the annual steel production at Gwangyang Blast Furnace No. 1 increased from 3.28 million tons to 5.65 million tons. This is a volume enough to produce 5.65 million passenger cars yearly. A POSCO source said, Gwangyang Blast Furnace No. 1 has transformed into a blast furnace facility armed with eco-friendly functions, which not only preemptively prevents generation of steam but also enhances the energy recovery ratio and saves electricity consumption.
POSCO started the project to renovate Gwangyang Blast Furnace No.1 in February this year as the lifespan of the furnace, which started operation in April 1987, ended. The project was originally scheduled to end on June 17, but ended around 10 days earlier due to faster-than-expected proceeding.
Amid concern over excessive production due to a slump in the steel industry in recent months, POSCO plans to use molten iron generated at Gwangyang Blast Furnace No. 1 to produce high added-value products and replace scrap iron.
source: The Dong-a ILBO