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Recovery and recycling key in steel industry

The recovery and recycling of steel will be a key driver in the industry over the coming year with demand at its highest ever level.

In its report, Steel: The Foundation of a Sustainable Future, the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) talks of a “remarkable year” for the industry in which global demand surpassed one billion tonnes for the first time during 2004.

IISI secretary general Ian Christmas said: “This extraordinary growth in demand was reflected across the industry, with many companies reporting record profitability. However, this surge in demand also put pressure on raw materials supplies, causing the prices of coal and iron ore to increase dramatically.”

In setting out the Institute’s future goals, the report states that the strong financial performances must continue over the long term in order to maintain a sustainable industry delivering value-added products to society.

Optimising the eco-efficiency of steel products through their life cycle is a key aim, as well as a commitment to the promotion of recovery, reuse and recycling of steel which is 100% recyclable.

The IISI also talks of providing educational opportunities for employees and to maintain safety as a top priority.

Christmas added: “Steel plays a vital role in people’s lives, and innovative steel solutions will be a key factor in helping us to meet society’s needs for necessities such as affordable housing, sustainable transportation, renewable energy and drinking water.

“We also strive to continue to provide secure, highly skilled jobs in our technically advanced industry and to ensure the health and safety of our employees with our commitment to zero harm.”

During the last year, activity in the industry continued through a number of mergers and large acquisitions.

“This trend towards consolidation is a positive one for the industry, as it will reduce its vulnerability to the traditional supply and demand cycle and help the industry in its commitment to sustainable development”, added Christmas.

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