POSCO

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The Pohang Iron and Steel Company, or POSCO, based in Pohang, South Korea, is the world's third-largest steel maker by market value[1][2] and Asia’s most profitable steelmaker.[3]

Coal mine interests

Posco and Vale invest in mine in Tete province

On January 30, 2011, South Korean steel group Posco said it had agreed with Brazilian group Vale to the joint development of a coal mine in the in Tete province of Mozambique. In a statement, the group said that the coal mine could produce 11 million tons of coal per year, to be used for generating electricity.[4] While the news reports didn't specifically mention the mine name, the only mine that Vale is developing is Moatize mine. In a later story by Reuters reported that POSCO denied the earlier report and in a statement said that "We don't have any plan to develop a coal mine in Mozambique with Vale and our earlier statement had factually wrong information".[5]

Mount Thorley Warkworth mine

The Mount Thorley Warkworth mine, 15 km south west of Singleton in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, is a joint venture of Coal & Allied Industries Limited (80 per cent) and POSCO Australia Pty Ltd (20 per cent). The Warkworth mnine joint venture comprises CNA Warkworth Australasia Pty Limited (26.82 per cent), CNA Resources Limited (28.75 per cent), Mitsubishi Development Pty. Limited (28.9 per cent), Nippon Steel Australia Pty Limited (9.53 per cent) and Mitsubishi Materials (Australia) Pty Limited (6 per cent).[6]

Integra mine

Vale Australia has a 61.2% interest in Integra Coal which operates the Integra mine in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. The mine produces thermal and metallurgical coal. Other partners in the project are NSC, JFE, Posco and Toyota.[7]

Carborough Downs mine

The Carborough Downs mine is a metallurgical coal mine located in the Bowen Basin in Queensland. Vale Australia, a subsidiary of Vale, has a 80% stake in the mine with other joint venture partners in the project being NSC, JFE, Posco and Tata.[7]

Elkview Mine

Elkview Mine is primarily owned by Teck Coal and is located approximately three kilometres east of Sparwood in southeastern British Columbia. Teck has a 95% partnership interest in the Elkview mine. The remaining 5% is held equally by Nippon Steel Corporation and POSCO, a Korean steel producer, each of which acquired a 2.5% interest in 2005 for US$25 million. The mine is 27,054 hectares of coal lands of which 3,599 hectares have been mined or are scheduled for mining.[8]

Greenhills Mine

Greenhills Mine is primarily owned by Teck Coal and is located eight kilometres northeast of the community of Elkford, in southeastern British Columbia. The minesite is 11,806 hectares, of which approximately 2,265 hectares have been mined or are scheduled for mining. Greenhills is operated under a joint venture agreement among Teck, POSCO Canada Limited (“POSCAN”) and POSCAN’s parent, POSCO. Teck has an 80% interest in the joint venture while POSCAN has a 20% interest.[9]

Proposed investment firm

In May 2015 POSCO Energy said it was considering establishing a joint investment firm with the National Pension Service (NPS) to prop up its overseas investment projects by raising US$570 billion for the investment fund. Under the proposed deal, financial investors would provide 70 percent of funds required to set up a special purpose corporation for the construction of overseas power plants, and POSCO the remaining 30 percent.[10]

Orissa project in India

On June 22, 2005, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government of the state of Orissa in eastern India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with POSCO to build a steel plant with a capacity of 12 million tons per year, along with a captive port and iron ore mines, at an estimated cost of $12 billion USD (Rs.52,000 crores). The project was touted as India’s largest ever Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) since the Indian economy was "liberalized" in 1991. The MoU expired in June 2010, and the POSCO project is still awaiting legal clearance for the 4004 acres of land, three-quarters of which are currently designated as “forest land.”

According to the website Mining Zone Peoples' Solidarity Group, the project was stalled due to widespread protests: as early as August 2005, several “people’s groups” made up of residents in the affected areas had formed around the POSCO issue, including the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS, Anti-POSCO Mobilization Committee), the Nav Nirman Samiti (New Development Committee), Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan (National Youth Collective), United Action Committee (UAC), groups of a much older national movement, Sarvodaya, the Orissa Bachao Andolan (Save Orissa Campaign) and some smaller groups. Some raised the issue of their land ownership, which was not being recognized by the state, making the POSCO project an “illegal encroachment” on their land. All of them reminded the public about the poor rehabilitation of previous development project oustees in Orissa.

One of the earliest actions of the PPSS was to block the entry of any government or POSCO official into three (Dhinkia, Gada Kujanga and Nuagaon) of the nine villages earmarked for the POSCO project, which continued until May 2010. The government of Orissa responded by deploying 12 platoons of paramilitary forces in the weeks leading up to the first public hearing scheduled in April 2007, where police, along with allegedly hired goons, attacked and critically injured protestors in Balitutha town near the village of Nuagaon. Violence happened again in May 2010, when 40 divisions of the Orissa state police opened fire on a peaceful protest in Balitutha, reportedly injuring more than 200 people in the process.

Local residents have tried to prevent the project through passing the Forest Rights Act (FRA), which recognizes the rights of people who have lived and depended upon the land, and empowers the gram sabha (“village people’s forum”) to protect and manage forests as a statutory authority. It was approved by the Indian Parliament and became law on January 1, 2008. There are currently online protests aginst the project, with signees including Noam Chomsky.[11]

Contact details

Website: http://www.posco.co.kr/homepage/docs/eng2/jsp/s91a0010001i.jsp

Articles and resources

References

  1. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved on 2009-01-15.
  2. http://en.mercopress.com/2010/12/13/top-korean-steelmaker-earns-carbon-credits-with-afforestation-project-in-uruguay
  3. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-22.
  4. "South Korea’s Posco group joins Brazil’s Vale for coal mining in Mozambique" macauhub, Jan. 31, 2011.
  5. Miyoung Kim, "POSCO says no plan to develop coal mine in Mozambique", Reuters, February 1, 2011.
  6. Coal & Allied, "Mount Thorley Warkworth mine", Coal & Allied website, accessed July 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Vale, "Annual Report 2009: Coal", Vale, accessed January 2011.
  8. "Elkview", Teck Coal website, accessed May 2011.
  9. "Greenhills", Teck Coal website, accessed May 2011.
  10. "POSCO Energy mulls over setting up investment firm," Korea Times, 2015-05-11
  11. "Chapter 1 – Peddling POSCO: An Introduction" Mining Zone Peoples' Solidarity Group, accessed May 2011.

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