POSCO, the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB) and shipping companies have signed a business tie-up to install desulfurizers in the bulk ships that transport coal and iron ore to the South Korean steelmaker, POSCO said Friday.

In its Seoul office, POSCO signed a tripartite agreement with KDB and several shipping firms that carry the key raw materials to the country’s leading steelmaker to establish the “Scrubber,” which reduces sulfur oxides emitted from fossil fuels, such as coal and iron ore, by 90 percent, the company said in a statement.

Under the deal, the state lender will extend a loan to POSCO’s shipping partners, such as Korea Line Corp., Pan Ocean, and H-Line Shipping, to help them install the desulfurizing system in their bulk ships by the end of 2019. Then, the shipping lines will receive the entire installation costs in their 20 ships from POSCO in the form of bulk-carrying expenses, it said.

The move is part of POSCO’s preemptive efforts to respond to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) stricter regulations on emitting gases from ships. The IMO plans to restrict the proportion of sulfur dioxides of a vessel’s overall gas emissions to 0.5 percent, sharply down from 3.5 percent, starting on Jan. 1, 2020, the statement said.


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