South Korea’s leading steel producer POSCO Holdings is considering building an integrated steel mill in India to meet growing demand from the country’s automotive industry, according to local reports.
Posco currently has a steel rolling joint venture, Posco Maharashtra Steel, located near Pune, supplying 1.8m tons of steel annually mostly to the automotive industry.
It produces cold rolled sheets from steel imported from South Korea. The company also has five steel processing operations in major Indian cities.
Posco currently supplies steel to the Indian outposts of global carmakers such as Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Nissan, Skoda and Volkswagen, as well as local automakers Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahrinda. It recently added Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest automaker, to its list of customers.
Global electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers such as Tesla are also eyeing India after the government set an EV sales target of 30% of total passenger vehicle sales by 2030.
Posco said it expected a local integrated steel mill would allow it to offer its products at lower prices to the automakers.
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Han Tae-soo, head of Posco India Chennai Corporation, recently told visiting reporters from South Korea “steel plate orders are pouring in as carmakers ramp up production in India under the country’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. We are extremely busy dealing with order requests from multiple customers”.
The Make in India programme aims to make the country a global manufacturing hub by offering incentives to companies investing in manufacturing.
Posco hopes to gain more government support for this project after its previous attempt to build a steel plant almost two decades ago failed amid strong opposition from local residents.