POSCO, the world’s fifth-largest steelmaker, announced on 15 Nov’21, that it will establish a new non-oriented (NO) electrical steel sheet factory. NO is required in motors that drive electric vehicles (EVs). The company will invest about KRW 1 trillion ($850 million) to build a new plant with an annual production capacity of 300,000 tonnes (t) of electrical steel sheets from early next year at the Koyo Steel Works, according to SteelDaily.
Currently, POSCO produces 100,000 t of non-oriented electrical steel sheets for EVs annually. Going forward, with this capital investment, the annual production scale will be expanded to 400,000 t by CY’25. As thinner plates reduce energy loss, POSCO also stated that, “It will be possible to produce high-efficiency products with a plate thickness of 0.3 mm or less and products with various coating characteristics.”
Demand for electrical steel sheets for EVs to grow
It is expected that demand for electrical steel sheets for EVs will grow steadily. Meanwhile, mills in other countries have been rushing to increase their production capacities of electrical steel sheets. However, POSCO has not been working to expand its capacity so far, but has been strengthening its business in distribution and processing.
POSCO Steel Processing and Service (SPS), a subsidiary of POSCO International, produces the components of traction motors. POSCO International is 62.9% owned by POSCO.
As per SteelDaily reports, the annual production of motor cores using non-oriented electrical steel sheets as the base material will be 2 million, units in Japan, 900,000 units in China, 650,000 units each in North America, and Europe. The policy is to increase the number of units by 450,000 and build a production system of 4 million units worldwide.
POSCO, this time, aims to capture the growing demand for electrical steel sheets while utilising the distribution and processing network while starting the new facility.
Through investment in new facilities, POSCO will actively respond to the changes in automobile trends, emerging demand, and strengthen its global competitiveness.