Learn about steel

A versatile, 100% recyclable, permanent material with limitless possibilities.

About the European Steel Association (EUROFER)

The European Steel Association has been promoting the steel industry in Europe since 1972

The European Steel Association (EUROFER) AISBL is located in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel production in the European Union.

The European Steel Association's members are steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members.

The European Steel Association is recorded in the EU transparency register: 93038071152-83.

The European Steel Association is led by a Director General, supported by around twenty full time staff. The presidency of the European Steel Association is held on a rotating basis its members.

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Facts at a glance

The European steel industry makes the modern economy possible

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€170 billion

Value for the EU economy

The sector is worth billions of euros in Gross Value Added to the EU economy every year.

160 million tonnes

Annual production of steel

The sector produces on average 160 million tonnes of finished steel per year.

500

Production sites in the EU

The EU steel industry has 500 production sites spread out across 22 EU Member States.

330,000

Highly skilled workforce

The steel sector employs 330,000 people directly and is responsible for up to 2.6 million indirect jobs.

What is steel? How is steel made?

Steel is an incredibly versatile metal with an innumerable range of applications.

What is steel?
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon containing less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese and small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur and oxygen. Steel is the world's most important engineering and construction material. It is used in every aspect of our lives; in cars and construction products, refrigerators and washing machines, cargo ships and surgical scalpels.

Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.

How is steel made?

Most steel in Europe is produced via two basic routes: The Blast Furnace-Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF) route and the Electric Arc Furnace route (EAF). Blast furnaces produce iron from iron ore. In a second step a basic oxygen converter turns iron, with some additions of scrap, into steel. Electric Arc Furnaces produce steel mostly from scrap collected for recycling.

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Where is steel made in Europe?

This map of production sites in Europe shows how widely steelmaking is distributed across the EU.

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Map of EU production sites

Steel is produced in 500 sites across the EU, ranging from primary, secondary and downstream 'final' production. This series of maps shows the locations of the primary and secondary steel production routes.

FAQ and glossary of steel terms

Steelmaking and the steel sector have their own vocabulary, describing not only the technical aspects of how steel is physically made, but also the regulatory and political framework that defines the whole European industry

Compliance guidelines

EUROFER members must abide by a strict code of conduct, in line with applicable EU and national laws and guidelines.

Published: 07 February 2020. Most recent update: 17 March 2020.
Address

The European Steel Association (EUROFER)
172 Avenue de Cortenbergh
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Contact

Email: mail@eurofer.eu
Phone: +32 (0) 2 738 79 20