DETROIT -- Posco, one of the world's largest steelmakers, plans to build a steel servicing center in Alabama to supply the U.S. factories of Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.
The planned Birmingham, Ala., plant will import steel rolls from Posco's steelmaking operations in Korea and Mexico, spokesman Ho Hong-sub said in an interview from Posco America Corp. headquarters in Fort Lee, N.J.
Pasco America will import hot-dipped galvanized steel sheet used for hoods, doors and other parts demanding fine surfaces.
The planned $17 million Posco plant is a steel service center. Such centers buy steel products in large quantities from producing mills, saw, shear and shape the metal to fit the end-user's needs, and hold reserves of steel in inventory.
Ho said the plant will be in operation next August and supply the nearby Hyundai assembly plant and the Kia assembly in nearby Georgia.
Ho said Han Ki-ho will be president of the center, to be known as the American Alabama Processing Center.
Hollie Pegg, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Development Office, said Posco also selected Alabama because of its proximity to local plants owned by Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc.
Ho said the new plant will have the capacity to easily expand to meet additional demand.
Pasco America was formed in 1984 to supply North American customers in the automotive sector.
Posco's global steel production exceeded 28 million tons last year.