Efficiency in the steel sector

  • Xiaomei Tan World Resources Institute
  • Deborah Seligsoh World Resources Institute


The iron and steel sector consumes about 19% of global final energy use and accounts for a quarter of direct CO2 emissions from industry and roughly 4.5% of global CO2 emissions (WSA 2008a). Steel production is very energy intensive with 20% to 40% of the cost of steel production derived from energy expenses (WSA 2008a). On average every ton of primary steel produced in a blast furnace results in one-and-a-half to two tons of direct CO2 emissions in OECD countries (ArcelorMittal 2008). The energy efficiency of steelmaking facilities differ greatly depending on production route, type of iron ore and coal used, the steel product mix, operation control technology, and material efficiency (WSA 2008b).