POSCO Announces Titanium Slab Joint Venture Agreement

Feb 01. POSCO

– Invest 50% each with Kazakhstan UKTMP, Starting Construction Later This Year

POSCO Announces Titanium Slab Joint Venture AgreementPOSCO signed an agreement to establish a joint venture to produce titanium slabs with Kazakhstan`s titanium sponge manufacturer UKTMP on January 21st at the POSCO Center.

According to the agreement, POSCO and UKTMP will each invest 50% to establish an industrial pure titanium slab plant in the Eastern Kazakhstan region of Ust-Kamenogorsk, with construction starting in the latter half of this year for completion in 2012.

Titanium sponge, the material needed to manufacture titanium slabs, will be supplied by UKTMP, while POSCO will use the slabs manufactured at the plant to produce sheets to be provided to client companies.

Titanium is a high quality material used in airline engines or frames, chemical plants, or nuclear power plant and desalination facilities as it is strong against corrosion yet light and high in strength. Though its cost is more than 20 times of general steel materials, Korea has relied entirely on imports as there were no domestic manufacturing facilities.

As nuclear power plant construction has been taking stance as the country`s growth engine with the UAE nuclear power plant construction agreement and others, POSCO expects to replace imports of titanium sheets, the material for titanium tubes of which approximately 300 tons are used per machine.

In September 2008, POSCO secured the necessary technologies in the process to manufacture the sheets and has completed commercial production tests in partnership with client companies, establishing the foundation to commercially produce titanium sheets as materials for nuclear power facilities and tubes.