Water Management in the Steel Industry: report now available

  • 16.05.2011
  • Brussels

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) has published a report on water management in the steel industry. The report is the result of a project that surveyed worldsteel member companies. The survey included all steelmaking activities and considered both water quality and quantity issues. It provides information about the processes, the water intake, the types of water used, reused and discharged. The book is now available for purchase from the Bookshop.

The report also contains case studies that identify good water management practices for every process step from cokemaking to ironmaking, steelmaking and rolling to waste management. The case studies illustrate how water availability, type of water and legislation determine what pre- and post-treatment techniques are applied.

In the appendix of the book, European best available techniques (BAT) for water management are made available, as described in the EU Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC).

The book also includes a CD with an Excel-based water management tool which any company can use to assess its water management.

Hans Regtuit, the project chairman, said, "Water is an essential resource for the production of steel and water management is a critical part of the steel industry’s sustainability roadmap. This report finds that water consumption and discharge per tonne of steel are close to each other and few losses occur in the processes. In most cases, the loss is due to evaporation. This indicates an overall efficient use of water within the industry.

The technical and management skills identified from the project are transferable to not only other steel plants but also other industries as well. We hope that the knowledge gained from the work is shared and the water management tool developed for the project is used to improve water management of companies".

The report finds that the average consumption and discharge of water for the integrated steelmaking route are 28.6m3 and 25.3m3 per tonne of steel produced respectively while the average consumption and discharge of water for the electric arc furnace route are 28.1m3 and 26.5m3 per tonne of steel produced. The study uses data and information collected from 29 steel plants worldwide.

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Notes to Editors:

  • The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world. worldsteel represents approximately 170 steel producers (including 19 of the world's 20 largest steel companies), national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes. worldsteel members produce around 85% of the world's steel.