POSCO, the world's fifth-biggest steelmaker by output, said Monday it will invest 45 trillion won (US$40.4 billion) up until 2023 to fuel new growth.
For the next five years starting in 2019, POSCO will spend 26 trillion won on upgrading its steelmaking facilities, 10 trillion won on exploring new growth drivers, such as its rechargeable battery business, and 9 trillion won on the energy business sector, the company said in a statement.
POSCO said it will push to build another lithium plant in South Korea to produce lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate.
Lithium carbonate is used in laptop and mobile phone batteries while lithium hydroxide is mainly used in manufacturing batteries for high-performance vehicles like Tesla Inc.'s electric cars.
POSCO began to produce 1,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year at the Gwangyang steel plant in southern South Korea in February 2017.
The company also said it will speed up building three cathode plants in South Korea, China and Chile in the coming years to supply the key material needed to produce rechargeable lithium car batteries to clients.
The steelmaker said it plans to hire 20,000 employees in the next five years to support its expansion.
POSCO has two integrated steel mills in South Korea and one in Indonesia, whose combined capacity stands at 41 million tons. (Yonhap News)