The WCE 2023, with the theme of “Rising Above the Climate Crisis towards Sustainable Prosperity,” served as Korea’s largest energy industry exhibition, incorporating carbon neutrality, energy, and five climate-related events. The exhibition was jointly hosted by seven central government institutions, including the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Busan City, and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). Distinguished attendees, including the Prime Minister, the Busan City Mayor, the Chairman of KCCI, as well as renowned domestic and international scholars in the fields of energy and the environment, played a significant role in contributing to the event’s success.
POSCO, recognized for its persistent efforts to attain net-zero carbon emissions beyond eco-friendly steel production, established an exhibition booth featuring five sections: net-zero carbon master brand Greenate, hydrogen reduction ironmaking, renewable energy/green hydrogen, eco-friendly low-carbon materials, and eco-friendly products. Through this showcase, the company presented its vision to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
A HyREX (Hydrogen Reduction ironmaking) model, featuring a fluidized reduction furnace, was intentionally placed in front of POSCO’s booth to captivate the interest of visitors. The showcased video depicts the journey towards carbon neutrality, showcasing the conversion of molten metal from conventional blast furnaces into an environmentally-friendly production system that operates without emitting carbon.
Hydrogen reduction ironmaking is an innovative technology that utilizes hydrogen instead of coal to reduce iron ore, resulting in the production of molten metal. POSCO employs its own FINEX fluidized reduction furnace technology, which combines iron ore powder and hydrogen, to achieve this process. Notably, this method emits water instead of carbon dioxide, contributing to a more environmentally sustainable approach.
Currently, hydrogen reduction ironmaking is in the early stages of design, and POSCO is actively working towards completing technology development by 2030. The company’s primary goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, gradually transitioning from the existing ironmaking process to the new hydrogen-based approach.
POSCO organized an event at its booth where visitors were provided with tumblers as an initiative to reduce the consumption of disposable products. One visitor who received a tumbler expressed their appreciation, stating, “POSCO’s hydrogen reduction ironmaking holds significant importance in the current environmental context. I could sense POSCO’s resolute determination to achieve carbon neutrality.”
An international conference has also been held to convene energy and environmental experts, facilitating discussions on eco-friendly energy policies and technology cooperation. This event was accompanied by technology exhibitions and programs involving approximately 500 companies, all geared towards addressing the pressing climate crisis.
The conference encompassed a business leader roundtable that brought together Korean and foreign corporate representatives, a city summit engaging leaders from major cities worldwide in the pursuit of carbon neutrality, and a leaders summit attended by heads of international organizations and diplomatic delegations. Furthermore, The New York Times (NYT) organized climate change-related events spanning two days from May 25, inviting esteemed individuals from both Korea and abroad.
The business leader roundtable, held on the first day, witnessed the participation of fifty notable individuals from Korea and abroad. This session featured a congratulatory message from the prime minister and the unveiling of carbon neutrality visions by prominent companies. During the event, POSCO Vice Chairman & CEO Hag-dong Kim unveiled the Net-Zero Carbon 2050 vision for achieving carbon neutrality, highlighting the significance of companies adopting bold technological advancements to address climate change while underscoring the need for strong policy support and international cooperation among countries to facilitate rapid progress towards carbon neutrality.