Global Energy Monitor

Blast Furnaces

What is a Blast Furnace?

Blast furnaces operate at extremely high temperatures to convert iron ore and coal to pig iron (also known as hot metal or crude iron), which is then fed into a basic oxygen furnace to produce steel. Blast furnaces use a chemical reaction known as reduction, wherein a reducing agent (usually coke and/or pulverized coal) is injected and binds with the oxygen in the raw iron, producing CO2 and crude iron as outputs. Coke is produced from coking coal in coke ovens, whereas pulverized coal is directly injected into the blast furnace. Blast furnaces are the most emissions-intensive part of the steelmaking process.

Location and ownership of furnaces

How do I tell where a furnace is located?

We identify the plant that each blast furnace in the GBFT is located at in the GEM Plant ID column. The GEM Plant ID can be cross referenced with the Global Steel Plant Tracker (GSPT) to retrieve location information for the iron/steel plant at which the blast furnace is located. The GSPT map can also be filtered for plants with blast furnace capacity to see all of the iron and steel plants with blast furnace units.

How do I tell who operates and owns each furnace?

We identify the plant that each blast furnace in the GBFT is located at in the GEM Plant ID column. The GEM Plant ID can be cross referenced with the Global Steel Plant Tracker (GSPT) to retrieve Parent and Owner information for the iron/steel plant at which the blast furnace is located.


How is the Global Blast Furnace Tracker different from the Global Steel Plant Tracker?

While the GSPT tracks all iron and steel production routes the GBFT focuses on only one type of unit (blast furnaces) at the plants. The GBFT offers more details on blast furnaces and does not include information on any other elements of the iron and steel production chain.

Why are there some discrepancies between the GBFT and the GSPT?

While the data from the Global Blast Furnace Tracker and Global Steel Plant Tracker is largely aligned, there are some differences between the blast furnace capacity reported in each. Generally, the data in the GBFT is more detailed and granular. We have reviewed each discrepancy on a case-by-case basis and determined that differences can be summarized as following:

  • Changes in operating status of individual units (e.g. the total plant capacity in the GSPT may include the “potential” operating capacity of a mothballed blast furnace, while our unit-level tracking would distinguish active units from idled units). 
  • Differences due to rounding or estimation
  • Missing or unidentified individual blast furnace units
  • Updates to blast furnace capacity that occurred between the release date of the GSPT and the release of the GBFT


Does the tracker show every blast furnace in the world?

No. The Global Blast Furnace Tracker includes all blast furnaces operating at iron or steel plants with capacity of five hundred thousand tonnes per annum or greater, as well as at plants with proposed expansions made by April 1, 2023 that bring the plant’s capacity to this threshold. In addition to operating furnaces, the GBFT also includes furnaces over the 500 ttpa threshold that have been proposed or under construction since 2017 and retired or mothballed since 2020.

Is this data up-to-date?

The Global Blast Furnace Tracker is updated yearly. All data in the 2023 GBFT is current as of April 1, 2023.

How can I see a list of all tracked blast furnaces?

The best way to get assembled data on all blast furnace units is by downloading the dataset.


How do I see blast furnaces on the GSPT map?

The Global Steel Plant Tracker map shows iron and steelmaking capacity of all production routes. To view only blast furnace capacity, use the “Steelmaking process” filter and select all options that include BF technology:

  • “Integrated (BF and DRI)”
  • “Integrated (BF)”
  • “Ironmaking (BF)”
  • “Ironmaking (BF and DRI)”

Improving the Tracker

What if I find an error or a missing project?

Please fill out an error report form here.


Who built this tool?

The tracker was designed and produced by Global Energy Monitor. To the extent possible, the information in the tracker has been verified by researchers familiar with particular countries. The following people participated in plant-by-plant research: Astrid Grigsby-Schulte (Global Energy Monitor), Caitlin Swalec (Global Energy Monitor), Wynn Feng (Global Energy Monitor), Gregor Clark (Global Energy Monitor), Hanna Fralikhina (Global Energy Monitor), James Peng (Global Energy Monitor), Jessie Zhi (Global Energy Monitor), Ziwei Zhang (Global Energy Monitor), Ali Hasanbeigi (Global Efficiency Intelligence), Harshvardhan Khutal (Global Efficiency Intelligence), Pinchookorn Chobthiangtham (Global Efficiency Intelligence), Nihan Karali (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Reza Shamshirgaran (Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS of Malaysia), Zulfikar Yurnaidi (ASEAN Center for Energy), Zakariae Mellouk (consultant, Morocco), Ray Pilcher (Raven Ridge Resources), Ariane DesRosiers (formerly Global Energy Monitor), Dorothy Mei (Global Energy Monitor), Kate Logan (formerly Global Energy Monitor), and Aiqun Yu (Global Energy Monitor). The project is managed by Caitlin Swalec, with project support from Louisa Plotnick and Ted Nace. Web/GIS programming was done by Tom Allnutt and Gregor Allensworth (GreenInfo Network), with support from Tim Sinnott (GreenInfo Network).

How do I cite the data?

Please refer to the Download Data page for citation guidance.