Posco International Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korea's largest steelmaker, said it plans to expand its capacity to produce bipolar plates used in hydrogen fuel cell systems that power electric vehicles (EVs), according to local reports.

Posco plans to expand its capacity to produce bipolar plates at its Cheonan plant in South Korea to 10,000 tonnes per year by 2027, from 1,400 tonnes at present, in anticipation of rapid growth in global demand. This would be enough for 245,000 fuel cell electric vehicles, the company reportedly said in a statement.

The industrial giant has recently shifted its focus to supplying the growing global EV market. Last month the group's Posco Chemical Company subsidiary said it was investing KRW276bn (US$242m) to expand its production capacity of cathodes, a key component for EV batteries. 

The facility, in the South Korean city of Gwangyang, will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes of cathodes by 2023 according to the plan – enough for 1.1m 60 kWh electric vehicles battery packs.

Posco Chemical also plans to invest in EV battery cathode production plants in China and Europe, as it looks to strengthen its global supply network.

Also last month, Posco signed an agreement with Vietnam's domestic car producer VinFast to supply half shafts for 90,000 EVs worth KRW30bn (US$26m), with the collaboration of South Korean parts manufacturer Erae AMS.

The companies had already signed a separate contract last October to supply half shafts for 100,000 conventional VinFast passenger vehicles.