POSCO, the world's fourth largest steel producer and one of the most competitive steel companies (World Steel Dynamics 2011) has contributed immensely to the rapid socio-economic development of South Korea. It started out 38 years ago with empty fields and rural fishing villages, to create today’s phenomenal steelworks.
Once crushed by Japanese colonial rule, Korea began its journey towards infrastructure development and modernization in the 1960s. The need for steel led to the establishment of POSCO at Pohang in 1968, and the steel industry saw its birth in the country. Its visionary leaders and determined employees took on challenges of mythical proportions in their quest to build POSCO as a global steel maker. POSCO’s meteoric growth was paralleled by the development of Korea, as a globally competitive nation. Now firmly established as a leader in the global steel industry, POSCO is a respected industry innovator, with production bases and sales foothold across the globe.
The year 1999 was witness to a total revamping of the company's overall processes in procurement, production, sales and the construction of an integrated digital system. POSCO was privatized in 2000 and since 2004 has been evaluated as a top global company with corporate transparency and a sound financial structure.
POSCO CEO Ku-Taek Lee took the final decision for the POSCO India Project. He envisioned a grand project for a giant steelworks with unlimited possibilities. Many factors were involved in this grand scheme; capital strength of POSCO, resources of Orissa, world class technological strength of POSCO and the potential of the Indian people, along with a meteoric investment of USD 12 billion.
The Government of Orissa and POSCO had a series of discussions spanning over a year, and eventually chose a site near Paradip, Orissa as the place to build the steelworks. Interestingly, the topographic features like the soil and vegetation of Pohang (Korea) and Paradip (Orissa) are very comparable. The Pohang project was successfully able to rehabilitate 67,000 residents from the project site; this tremendous experience will be replicated in Orissa as well. The site near Paradip is sandy like Pohang, Korea. It also has stretches of forest like Pohang; the latest estimate says that about 2,000 people of 400 households have to be relocated from the site for the Orissa project whereas about 67,000 residents were rehabilitated for the project site in Pohang.
In 2004, the final decision for POSCO's India Project was taken and both governments confirmed it on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of amity between India and Korea.
POSCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Orissa in June 2005, to set up a 12 MTPA green field steel plant near Paradip, Jagatsinghpur District, Orissa, with an estimated investment of USD 12 billion. The company will build a 4 million-ton per annum capacity steel plant in Orissa, during the first phase of its project by 2016-17, and expand the final production volume to 12 million tons per annum. POSCO-India Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated on 25th August 2005 with the Registrar of Companies, Orissa, under the Companies Act 1956.
POSCO-India wishes to nourish hopes and dreams for the new generation who will grow together with the development of this project. POSCO, with its rich traditional management philosophies, takes pride in practicing the world’s best employee welfare programs, and has consistently implemented this from the beginning. The plan to build a world class steelworks with annual production capacity of 12 million tons, will not only provide extensive value addition to the mineral wealth of the state, but is also anticipated to take Orissa to the pinnacle of the global steel industry.