January 7, HBIS and POSCO held a video conference in Tangshan, Hebei China and Seoul, ROK for launching a joint venture, which is HBIS-POSCO Automotive Steel Co., Ltd. This is a firm step to implement strategic partnership between China and South Korea, promoted by the leaders of the two countries and the specific action of deepening the economic cooperation in Northeast Asia and enhancing the high quality development of the coastal economic belt. It is also an important project upgrading in the steel industry and reform of state-owned enterprises in Hebei Province. It is the biggest joint venture with a foreign investor in Chinese steel industry of the years. With the commencement of its construction, HBIS and POSCO are pursuing to be world leading producers of high standard automobile strips and an iconic cooperation project of Chinese enterprises and Korean enterprises.
By taking full advantages of port, location, resources, industry policy of Tangshan, and integrating POSCO technologies, brands, talent, market and management experiences, the joint venture dedicates to be a professional company focusing on R&D, production and sales of high-end and new energy automobile panels, to meet human's demand for more high-end and personalized automobile panels, to provide low-carbon, green and lightweight material solutions for high-end brand cars, and to create a world leader in automobile panels.
The project has a total investment of 4.125 billion yuan, with HBIS and POSCO holding 50% shares respectively. It will build two world-leading continuous hot-dip galvanizing production lines in Tangshan Laoting Economic Development Zone, Hebei Province, and bring into its ownership an existing automobile plate production line in Guangdong province, with an annual designed capacity of 1.35 million tons, which is planned to be completed and put into operation in 2023.
The new two main production lines adopt the world's leading equipment suppliers and the world's most advanced intelligent control technology. The products are mainly high-grade automotive panels, taking into account high-grade high-strength steel and household appliance panels. The thickness of the products is 0.3 -- 2.3 mm, the width is 800 -- 1860 mm, and the maximum strength is 980 mpa. Major customers include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW, Volkswagen and other global first-tier automobile brands and domestic mainstream automobile manufacturers. Among them, the GA alloy plated steel plate made by both parties will become the star product that will quickly enter the top automobile manufacturers.
HBIS is one of the largest steel material manufacturing and integrated service providers in the world, the most internationalized steel enterprise in China, and the second largest supplier of steel for automobiles in China. HBIS has the ability to supply steel for automobiles, especially high-strength steel products with leading advantages in Chinese market. POSCO is also a highly respected world leading player in world steel industry with the best technologies, equipment, procedures, management experiences and products. 12 years in a row, POSCO owns the title of the Most Competitive Steel Enterprise of the World.
Over the years, HBIS and POSCO have been working closely after the buiding of Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation Partnership in 2017. On June 25, 2021, HBIS and POSCO signed the joint venture agreements; September 26, the plant received its license and commenced its project contruction.It is also the biggest investment of POSCO for a single project over the years in China and opens a new chapter of the Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation Partnership with HBIS. It is a firm and live implementation of high quality development of steel industry.