After months of renovations, POSCO held a blow-in ceremony on June 6 for Pohang Blast Furnace No. 3, the world’s fifth largest blast furnace. Pohang Blast Furnace No. 3 was first fired up in 1978 with an internal volume of 3795㎥ and was renovated three times. It produced a total of 119 million tons of molten steel, laying down the foundation for the development of POSCO and related industries.
Renovations for the blast furnace began on February 24 when POSCO added automated monitoring technology to control the internal state of the blast furnace, a measure expected to help forecast and extend its lifespan. This led POSCO to develop an infrastructure that utilizes artificial intelligence and collect big data from early stages of operation, bringing it one step closer to becoming a “smart blast furnace.”
In addition to incorporating smart technology, the internal volume of Pohang Blast Furnace No. 3 was expanded from 4350㎥ to 5600㎥, making it the 5th largest in the world, with a capacity to produce 15,000 tons of molten steel in a single day. POSCO now operates 5 of the 14 super-sized blast furnaces in the world, including the world’s largest Gwangyang Blast Furnace No. 1 (6000㎥), Pohang Blast Furnaces No. 3 and 4 (5600㎥) and Gwangyang Blast Furnaces No. 4 and 5 (5500㎥). The remaining blast furnaces are in Japan (four), China (three), Russia (one), and Germany (one).