South Korean steelmaker POSCO has permanently shut down the blast furnace No 1 at its Pohang plant on 29 December 2021 as its lifespan has ended. South Korea’s first blast furnace, which was renovated twice since its commencement in 1973, produced a total of 55.2 million tonnes of crude steel over a period of 48 years and six months. POSCO will turn the blast furnace No 1 into a museum, considering the historical value of the furnace. Posco President Mr Kim Hag-dong said “I still remember Honorary Chairman Park and his staff cheering and crying in front of the No 1 blast furnace when it started production. The Pohang No 1 blast furnace and the employees played important roles to transform a small country without a proper factory into one of the world’s top 10 economic powerhouses in a short period of time.”POSCO stated that it will improve the production at its remaining eight blast furnaces in order to make up for the annual decline of one million tonne in output caused by the shutdown.Earlier, Posco said it will also consider closing or renovating the No. 2 furnace in Pohang as early as 2025, to boost overall productivity by shutting older facilities or keep them up to date. The facility began working since 1976.