JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. - Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb welcomed one of the world’s top steelmakers to Indiana today as POSCO opened its new plant at the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville. POSCO is a multinational company that ranks among Fortune’s top 250 companies and is the world’s fifth largest steelmaker. The company was recently named the ‘World’s Most Competitive Steelmaker’ for the eighth consecutive year by the globally-renowned steel information service provider, World Steel Dynamics.
“Two of Indiana’s greatest resources, our robust port system and our highly-skilled workforce, were instrumental in bringing a global company like POSCO to the Midwest,” Governor Holcomb said. “These new high-wage jobs and POSCO’s impressive facility are proof of the momentum of Indiana’s economic expansion. I am proud the company decided to build its newest plant at our Jeffersonville port and we’re hopeful it will not be the last South Korean company to locate in our great state.”
POSCO was established in South Korea in 1968 and was the first Korean firm to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994. It operates two integrated steel mills in South Korea and a joint venture facility with U.S. Steel, USS-POSCO Industries, located in California. The company operates 312 facilities in 43 countries around the world. POSCO is South Korea’s sixth largest company by asset value, behind Samsung Group, Hyundai Motors, LG Electronics Group, SK Holdings and Lotte Group. CEO Dr. Ohjoon Kwon traveled from POSCO’s corporate headquarters in Pohang, South Korea, to celebrate the opening of the company’s first Indiana facility.
“I believe our investment in Indiana will soon be followed by investments in other parts of the auto supply chain that can serve as a powerful stimulant to Jeffersonville’s local economy,” said Dr. Kwon. “Furthermore, we can contribute to creating new jobs in the local community going forward.”
In April 2016, POSCO announced its intention to invest in a new facility at the Jeffersonville port to process steel wire for fasteners, nuts and bolts used in the automotive industry and to also serve as a distribution center for other POSCO products. Since then, the company has completed the $21 million first phase of construction, a new 80,000 square-foot steel-processing plant on nearly 13 acres. POSCO also plans to expand the facility to 136,000 square-feet in the near future and create up to 60 high-wage jobs.
During his remarks, Dr. Kwon presented Jeffersonville High School principal Julie Straight with a $30,000 check to support the school’s music program. The Jeffersonville High School Musical Ensemble performed a traditional South Korean anthem as well as “Back Home Again in Indiana.” U.S. Congressman Trey Hollingsworth also spoke during the ceremony that was attended by state and local leaders. POSCO executives attending included Kenny Hwang, President, POSCO AAPC; Won Ki Kim, POSCO America President; Byung Hwi Kim, POSCO Mexico President; Jeoung Su Kim, POSCO Wire Rod Marketing Director; Dong Ho Kim, POSCO CSP President and Kyu Tae Kim, Finance Director, POSCO AAPC.
In addition, Jong Kook Lee, the Korean Consulate General in Chicago, recognized four local U.S. military veterans who served in the Korean War. Elmer Belden, Carl Kamer, Herman Naville and Ken Pearl, all from Clark or Floyd counties in Indiana, received special commemorative medals cast by POSCO out of barbed wire from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville is now home to 27 businesses, including a “steel campus” of 15 steel-related companies serving the Midwest auto and appliance industries. In 2015 and 2016, the port handled its two highest annual volumes of steel.
“Our Jeffersonville port’s location in the heart of the auto and appliance manufacturing region will be a tremendous strategic advantage for POSCO,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “The company will now have year-round access to the Gulf of Mexico by way of barges on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, providing the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient mode of freight transportation. POSCO, their customers and suppliers will all be the beneficiaries of the port’s multimodal transportation options including water, access to multiple Class I railroads and interstate highways. We welcome this world-class South Korean manufacturer to our port family and we look forward to helping expand its business.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered POSCO up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $50,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based and as Hoosiers are hired, the company is eligible to claim incentives.