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Posco super alloy steel is ready for new sulfur rules

Sept 19,2019
Posco said Wednesday it will actively target the super alloy stainless steel market ahead of next year, when tighter sulfur oxide emissions guidelines on ships come into effect.

Super alloy stainless steel is used to make sulfur scrubbers, exhaust gas cleaning systems that remove sulfur from emissions as fuel is burned so that ships can continue using high-sulfur fuel despite tighter guidelines.

Under to-be-implemented International Maritime Organization guidelines, ships have to use marine fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 0.5 percent from January 2020, a huge cut from the current cap of 3.5 percent.

Shipping lines have a choice of using expensive fuel with less sulfur, attaching scrubbers to existing ships or changing their fleet to liquefied natural gas-powered ships to meet the guidelines.

“With scrubbers … shipping lines can keep on using cheaper high-sulfur fuel oil,” Posco said in statement. “During the next five years, we are expecting scrubbers to be mounted on more than 12,000 ships.”

Posco said it formed a cross-functional team dedicated to the development of super alloy stainless steel last year and succeeded in mass producing the product early this year. It is already supplying its steel to local scrubber designing and manufacturing companies including Hyundai Heavy Industries Power Systems and Kangrim Heavy Industries.

Until last year, steel used for scrubbers was only produced by foreign steelmakers.

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@jooongang.co.kr]