Steel Facts

Industry Snapshot (2012)

  • Production : 14 million tonnes
  • Sales : $12-14 billion
  • Capital Investment : $2 billion since 2009
  • Direct Jobs : over 20,000
  • Exports : $6.8 billion

Steel plays a major role in almost every aspect of our daily lives.

Our homes, appliances, vehicles and other everyday items all depend on the strength and quality of a wide range of steel products.

The list of steel uses is long and impressive: bridges, tools, buildings, clothing and countless other items all utilize steel in one form or another.

The average Canadian owns over 900kg (2000 lbs) of steel included in a wide array of goods.

Steel is the most widely used metal and most recycled material on Earth.

Canadian Steel Shipments By Market Consumption

HOW STEEL IS MADE

Modern steelmaking in Canada takes two basic forms:

(i) the Integrated process and (ii) the Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) process.

  • Integrated (BOF): this process relies on high quality iron ore, coal and limestone to produce molten iron in a Blast Furnace.The molten iron, along with smaller amounts of scrap steel is then transformed into liquid steel in a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF), and then cast into slabs and billets for further processing.
  • Electric Arc Furnace (EAF): this process relies primarily on recycled scrap steel, which is then reheated, purified and recast as new steel from the EAF into billets and slabs for further processing.

For a more detailed explanation of each process, please visit Steel University.

RECYCLING

  • Canada’s steel recycling rate stands in excess of 60%
  • 7 million metric tonnes of steel recycled in 2012
  • Steel is the most recycled material in the world

Steel is unique among materials. In addition to an attractive mix of strength, quality, cost competitiveness, and adaptability, steel is uniquely recyclable.

The ability to make full use of ferrous scrap–the product of earlier industrial production-makes steel environmentally attractive and reduces the burden on the world’s resources in meeting the growing and innovative uses for steel around the world.

This is true not only in terms of diverting useful material away from landfills, but also by retaining much of the original energy expended to create the earlier steel.

In its own way, steel is a renewable resource. In fact, steel is the most recycled material in the world.

For more information on all aspects of steel recycling, please click here.