Korean steelmaker, Posco plans to build a 1.8Mt/y capacity cold rolling complex in India to meet the increasing demand for high quality steel for the automobile industry thereby replacing imports for these grades.

The cold rolling mill is to be built in Vile Bhagad Industrial Complex in Maharastra State - the capital of which is Mumbai, and will produce automobile steel strip. Construction for the mill is due to start in November 2011 and be completed by December 2013. The hot-rolled coil used in this mill will be supplied from a new 3.3Mt/y hot strip mill at Gwangyang South Korea.

Construction of this HSM is to commence in September 2011 and be completed by January 2014. Slab for the mill will be supplied by enhancing the steelmaking and casting capabilities within Gwangyang works. The No 4 HSM will meet the increasing demand for high quality steel products such as automobile steel plates, steel line-pipe, high-strength steel and wide strip steel. Output will cover the deficit in materials for the cold-rolling industry in Korea as well as supplying the cold rolling complex in India and South East and West Asia.

Maharastra is the industrial capital of India, producing 45% of automobiles and 40% of electronic appliances in the country, while Vile Bhagad Industrial Complex is located at the mid-point between Pune, where POSCO`s processing mill is, and Dighi, a port where POSCO`s distribution centre is.

By 2018, the demand for cold-rolled steel products in the automobile and other industries of India is expected to gradually increase by 12.5%.

The supply of cold-rolled strip for automobiles in India is expected to be short by 850kt by 2015, and 1.78Mt by 2018, making the future prospects for the market very bright.

Once the No 4 hot-rolling mill is completed, Posco’s production capacity for hot-rolled coil will increase from 23.54Mt to 26.84Mt/y.