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.

GBFT vs. GSPT

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.

Coverage

Does the tracker show every blast furnace in the world?

No. The Global Blast Furnace Tracker includes all blast furnaces operating at plants tracked by the Global Steel Plant Tracker. The GBFT also includes blast furnaces that have been announced or under construction since 2017 and retired or mothballed since 2022 at plants tracked by the GSPT. The GSPT includes operating plants with a crude iron or steel capacity of 500 thousand tonnes per annum (ttpa) or more. The GSPT also includes plants meeting this capacity threshold that have been announced or under construction since 2017 and retired or mothballed since 2020. Plants (and blast furnaces at those plants meeting the above criteria) with proposed expansions made by March 1, 2024 that bring the total capacity to this threshold are included.

Is this data up-to-date?

The Global Blast Furnace Tracker is updated yearly. All data in the 2024 GBFT is current as of March 1, 2024.

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.

Map

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.

Credits

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), Gregor Clark (Global Energy Monitor), Hanna Fralikhina (Global Energy Monitor), Henna Khadeeja (Global Energy Monitor), Jessie Zhi (Global Energy Monitor), Marie Armbruster (Global Energy Monitor), Natalia Fretz (Global Energy Monitor), Norah Elmagraby (Global Energy Monitor), Zhanaiym Kozybay (Global Energy Monitor), Ziwei Zhang (Global Energy Monitor), Wynn Feng (Global Energy Monitor), Xiaojun Peng (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), Christine Shearer (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 Marie Armbruster, within GEM’s Heavy Industry Program, managed by Caitlin Swalec, with 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.