By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- POSCO International Corp., a South Korean commodities trader, said Tuesday it intends to take part in reconstruction projects in Ukraine after the war to help the country rebuild from the devastation.
The trading unit under South Korea's steel giant POSCO Holdings Inc. is the only Korean company maintaining a business operation in the war-torn country since Russia's invasion began on Feb. 24, 2022.
POSCO International has a grain terminal in the southern city of Mykolaiv, about 480 kilometers away from the capital Kyiv, with a capacity to handle 2.5 million tons of wheat, corn and barley, and store 140,000 tons a year.
The company had to shut down the facility for a few months after the war broke out and was able to restart some of the operations in May.
"We plan to actively participate in national reconstruction projects in addition to the agricultural sector, by taking advantage of being the only (Korean company) with asset investments in Ukraine," the company said in a release.
"POSCO Holdings has diverse business portfolios from steel, energy and construction to IT, enabling us to serve as a bridge to help POSCO advance into the country," it said.
The grain volume more than halved to 310,000 tons in 2022, compared with the previous year's 760,000 tons, amid the war. The shipments to Europe and Africa resumed via land routes in May.
It has 16,000 tons in its inventory and plans to complete shipments by the end of March.
The Mykolaiv facility has suffered no damage although the battle is ongoing in the southeastern region, according to the company.
All employees from South Korea are working remotely from Poland, with about 30-40 essential personnel hired locally in Ukraine working at the terminal facility.
POSCO International said it will work with promising local farming companies in Ukraine for partnerships in a push for an expansion in the value chain.
It will also seek to enter the grain processing sector where demand is increasing, and consider additional investments in inland storage facilities to expand domestic grain imports, POSCO International said.