South Korean steelmaking giant Posco said Wednesday that its high manganese steel which withstands extremely low temperatures has received technical approval from global energy firm ExxonMobil for usage in liquefied natural gas storage tanks.
The two firms joined in a technical partnership in 2020 to expand the use of high manganese steel, which Posco succeeded in mass-producing for the first time in the world.
High manganese steel is a new type of material that Posco developed in 2013, by adding 10 to 30 percent of manganese to steel so it can endure high-pressure, extremely low temperatures and be more wear-resistant. It can also safety store LNG, which is kept at minus 162 degrees Celsius in its liquid state. Using cheap material like manganese also makes it price-competitive.
The country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy last year approved Posco’s high manganese steel to be used as materials for onshore LNG storage tanks.
According to the Posco, the latest technical approval from ExxonMobil was mandatory step for Posco to participate in the project that Exxonmobil invests in.
“The approval process was shortened based on ExxonMobil’s trust in what we do and our technical prowess with experience of applying our new material to the fifth tank at LNG terminal in Gwangyang and some 20 LNG carriers globally,” said an official from Posco.
As for the next step, Posco said it will discuss with ExxonMobil the application of high manganese steel to overseas LNG projects. The two firms will also collaborate in other eco-friendly businesses which involve development of hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology.
“Based on the transparent, solid relationship we have with ExxonMobil, we will continue to share technology and collaborate to mass produce products to be used for global projects,” said Posco R&D Center Chief Joo Se-don.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org)