POSCO announced that it will actively target the super alloy stainless steel market to make sulfur scrubbers ahead of next year, when tighter sulfur oxide emissions guidelines on ships come into effect. Through extensive research and development, POSCO has succeeded in mass-producing S31254, a high-alloy stainless steel developed for use in seawater. The steel contains high levels of molybdenum and nitrogen, providing high resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion as well as high strength compared with conventional stainless steels. POSCO said it formed a cross-functional team dedicated to the development of super alloy stainless steel last year and succeeded in mass producing the product early this year. It is already supplying its steel to local scrubber designing and manufacturing companies including Hyundai Heavy Industries Power Systems and Kangrim Heavy Industries.
Super alloy stainless steel is used to make sulfur scrubbers, exhaust gas cleaning systems that remove sulfur from emissions as fuel is burned so that ships can continue using high-sulfur fuel despite tighter guidelines. Under to-be-implemented International Maritime Organization guidelines, ships have to use marine fuel with a sulfur content of no more than 0.5% from January 2020, a huge cut from the current cap of 3.5%. Due to the stringent International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations to remove sulfur and harmful emissions from ships, the SOx scrubber will be applied to more than 12,000 vessels over the next five years.
Shipping lines have a choice of using expensive fuel with less sulfur, attaching scrubbers to existing ships or changing their fleet to liquefied natural gas-powered ships to meet the guidelines.
Source of information