How is steel made?
There are a variety of different steel production methods in use today. Crude steel is typically produced in an electric arc furnace (EAF), basic oxygen furnace (BOF), or open hearth furnace (OHF). EAFs are fed scrap metal, pig iron (aka crude iron or hot metal), sponge iron (aka direct reduced iron (DRI) or hot briquetted iron (HBI)), or some combination of these iron sources. BOFs and OHFs are typically fed pig iron, but may be supplemented with smaller amounts of scrap metal or DRI. Pig iron is typically produced from iron ore and coking coal (aka coke) in a blast furnace (BF) and DRI is produced in a direct reduced iron plant from iron ore (no coking coal) and hydrogen. Some steel plants operate only one type of production route (typically either BF-BOF or DRI-EAF), but some operate multiple different production routes.
What do the colored dots on the map mean?
The colors indicate the steel production method.
“Integrated” steelmaking refers to steel plants that produce both iron and steel onsite (as opposed to plants that produce steel from purchased iron materials only). In other words, integrated plants produce both steel and the iron material used to make the steel. Integrated steel plants may use different combinations of furnaces to produce iron and steel. Emissions from integrated steelmaking are mainly produced during the ironmaking process. Thus, integrated steelmaking processes are divided by ironmaking processes as detailed below.
“Electric” steelmaking refers to steel plants that only produce steel onsite (not iron) and use an electric arc furnace. Electric steelmaking plants may use scrap metal, sponge iron, pig iron, or some combination of these iron materials as feed. Example steelmaking routes are provided below.
- Electric: Plants that produce only steel onsite and use an electric arc furnace (EAF).
- Electric, oxygen: Plants that produce only steel onsite and use an electric arc furnace (EAF) and basic oxygen furnace (BOF).
- Integrated (BF): Plants that produce both iron and steel onsite. Pig iron is produced in a blast furnace (BF). Steel may be produced using one or more types of furnaces.
- Integrated (DRI): Plants that produce both iron and steel onsite. Sponge iron is produced in a direct reduced iron plant (DRI plant). Steel may be produced using one or more types of furnaces.
- Integrated (BF and DRI): Plants that produce both iron and steel onsite. Pig iron is produced in a blast furnace (BF) and sponge iron is produced in a direct reduced iron plant (DRI plant). Steel may be produced using one or more types of furnaces.
- Integrated (unknown): Plants that produce both iron and steel onsite. Furnace(s) used to produce iron is unknown. Steel may be produced using one or more types of furnaces.
- Unknown: Plant steelmaking process is unknown.
Can I change the steelmaking production method categories that the map is showing?
Yes. Go to the legend (bottom right corner of the map) and click in the box next to a color.
How is plant status defined?
Plant status is categorized as follows:
- Proposed: Projects that have been announced in corporate or governmental planning documents, but have not begun operation.
- Construction: Physical plant structure building has begun.
- Operating: Plant is operating one or more iron or steelmaking furnaces.
- Mothballed: Plant iron and steelmaking has been idled such that it cannot be brought into operation immediately, but is not closed.
- Closed: Plant has ceased operations and no longer has ability to produce iron and/or steel.
I’ve zoomed in, but don’t see a steel plant. Why?
In some cases, only approximate location information could be found.
How do I find out if a location is exact or approximate?
To find out the coordinates of a location and whether a location is exact or approximate, click on the location dot, select the wiki page, and look under “Project Details.”
Can I see a list of the steel plants?
Yes, click on “Table” in the top left corner of the map.
Does the tracker show all the operating crude steel plants in each country?
No. The Global Steel Plant Tracker includes all operating crude steel production plants with capacity of one million tonnes per annum or greater, as well as units proposed since 2019 and recorded in the OECD’s public steelmaking capacity expansion database. The GSPT is also limited to plants that produce crude steel onsite (plants such as rolling mills that process crude steel into final products are omitted).
How do you define capacity and production?
Capacity is the tonnes of crude steel per annum that a steel plant is capable of producing with units currently onsite. Production is actual tonnes of crude steel per annum produced at a plant in a recent year. Capacity utilization may be calculated as the difference between capacity and production over capacity.
What is the difference between “units” and “plants?”
The tracker provides separate data on each of the multiple furnaces or pieces of steelmaking equipment that typically exist at a particular location. Each of these furnaces or steelmaking equipment pieces is referred to as a “unit.” The entire collection of units at a given location is referred to as a “plant.”
Improving the Tracker
What if I find an error or a missing project?
Please use the contact form to let us know about any errors or omissions.
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: Caitlin Swalec (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), Dorothy Mei (Global Energy Monitor), Kate Logan (Global Energy Monitor), Gregor Clark (Global Energy Monitor), and Aiqun Yu (Global Energy Monitor). The project director is Caitlin Swalec, with project support from Christine Shearer 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 cite the data as Global Energy Monitor’s Global Steel Plant Tracker, with either the date of the database release or the date that the map data was accessed.