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Posco confirms 7 missions to speed up innovation

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : April 22, 2024 - 17:46

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Posco Group's new Chairman Chang In-hwa (Posco Holdings) Posco Group's new Chairman Chang In-hwa (Posco Holdings)

Posco Group Chairman Chang In-hwa on Monday announced seven major tasks that the steel giant will tackle in the years to come, from consolidating its leadership in steelmaking and battery materials to improving the governance structure.

The new missions come after Chang was appointed as the group’s new chairman on March 21. Chang, together with a 20-member task force, came up with the new tasks to enhance Posco’s competitiveness across key business areas.

“Through the seven innovation tasks, we will strengthen the competitiveness of our core businesses and innovate the overall management system to step up as a top-tier company,” Chang said during Posco Holdings’ board meeting on Friday.

The seven tasks are strengthening the competitiveness of steel and secondary battery materials, diversifying the group's businesses, installing a fair and transparent governance, raising employees' ethical awareness, strengthening compliance management and establishing a horizontal organizational culture.

In the company’s steel business, Posco will focus on lowering expenses to increase profitability, as the global steel industry faces uncertain business conditions. The goal is to save over 1 trillion won ($724 million) a year by increasing the overall efficiency of its steelmaking facilities.

Posco also plans to speed up its transition to a low-carbon steel production system by expanding the use of electric furnaces and hydrogen-based ironmaking technology.

“Posco Group plans to take the lead in the low-carbon steel market by quickly launching its eco-friendly steel products,” an official from the group said.

In terms of its secondary battery materials business, Posco aims to focus on strengthening its value chain by stabilizing and increasing the supply of lithium and nickel products.

Posco Pilbara Lithium Solution, a lithium hydroxide plant built last year, has already started commercial production. The group will also speed up the construction of a lithium hydroxide plant in Argentina, which has an annual capacity of 25,000 tons, and aims to begin mass production in the second half of this year.

The group added it will pursue merger and acquisition opportunities over the next three years to secure more lithium production capacity.

“The electric vehicle market is currently facing difficulties from a temporary slowdown, but the group will take this as an opportunity to stabilize and increase its lithium productions,” the official added.

Posco’s culture and management system will also change. The group has decided to cut executive pay by up to 20 percent and consider abolishing the stock compensation system for executive members.

A more transparent CEO and outside director appointment process will be established, and the group will also operate a committee that will increase the transparency of its governance, the group noted.