POSCO will spend $70bn on expanding its oxygen and nitrogen storage facilities at two new steel mills as it looks to makes great strides in the industrial gases market.

The South Korean steelmaking firm today (27th April) said it has broken ground on the new facilities, located in Pohang and Gwangyang Works.

Once operational, POSCO hopes the storage capacity of the mills will total 106,000 tonnes annually by 2030 and 450,000 tonnes annually from 2024.

POSCO currently owns oxygen and nitrogen tanks with a storage capacity of 49,000 tonnes.

The company’s expansion into the industrial gases market will not only benefit the steel making sector, but also industries such as semiconductors, shipbuilding, chemicals and automobiles.

With the recent boom in the semiconductor and shipbuilding industries in Korea, demand continues to increase, making it particularly important for SMEs to secure a stable supply chain.

Yoon Deok-il, Head of POSCO’s Business Planning Division, said, “Based on POSCO’s largest oxygen and nitrogen production and storage facilities in Korea, POSCO is expected to not only improve the stabilisation of supply of industrial gas for downstream industries such as domestic semiconductors and shipbuilding, but also contribute to revitalizing the local economy.”