South Korea’s Hyundai Steel has started operation of its first blast furnace.

The furnace at its new integrated steel mill in Dangjin, South Korea has a capacity of 4Mt/y. The company aims to complete its No 2 blast furnace by early 2011, to reach an 8Mt/y capacity. Hyundai Steel is currently the world’s second-largest EAF steelmaker. It started to build blast furnaces in 2006.

The $5bn blast furnace has an inner volume of 5250m3, a hearth diameter of 17m and a height of 110m. The company said it has the latest environmentally-friendly technologies, reflecting the eco-friendly management philosophy of the company.

An example of this is the enclosed raw material processing facility, which prevents dust from the iron ore and coking coal from polluting nearby communities.