Europe Steel 2

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Europe Steel 2

Europe Steel

France: After regaining Lorraine from Germany in 1918, France has become the biggest iron-ore producing country of West Europe. Lack of coal has long been a great handicap for the proper development of steel manufacturing. Yet, considerable pig iron and steel are produced by importing coal from Germany and Great Britain, and by electric furnaces. France is an important exporter of pig iron and iron and steel manufacturing has developed in two areas.

  • (a) On Lorraine Ore Fields: This area gets coke from the Rube basin coal-fields as return freight of iron-ore sent there. The industry has developed at Metz, Brief, Nancy and Long-way. Crude steel from this area is sent to plants in other parts of the country.

  • (b) On The Sambre Meuse Coal-field. This is situated in North France. The local coal is of good quality. Iron-ore is obtained from Normandy, Luxembourg and Lorraine. Being situated in the great industrial region of North France, a large quantity of scrap metal, collected locally, is also used in the manufacture of pig iron and steel. These two areas produce over 90 per cent of nation's iron and steel.

    Belgium has coal (non-coking) and Luxembourg has iron ore. These two countries have long been under a common customs-union, resulting in an unrestricted movement of coal and iron-ore between them. Yet, large quantities of superior grade coal and iron-ore are imported by both the countries. Considerable iron and steel goods are manufactured by them and they are important exporters of crude steel. Charleroi and Liege are important steel centres of Belgium.

    Netherlands is an exporter of pig iron and importer of steel. The biggest steel plant of Netherlands is located at the mouth of the North-Sea Canal of Holland. It obtains coal and coke from Denmark and iron-ores from Spain and Sweden. Production is 5.4 million metric tons.

    In Spain the port of Bilbao in the Bay of Biscay has a large steel plant. The vessels carrying ore to South Wales (Great Britain) can return to Bilbao with coal and coke. Spain now produces about 11.8 million metric tons steel.

    Italy is deficient in coal and has a very limited supply of high grade iron-ore in the island of Elba. With intensive use of hydro-electric power high grade steel is produced in the electric furnaces at Turin. Genoa is the biggest steel centre of the country. Iron and steel manufacturing is also carried on at other industrial centres of the north. For coal and coke, she depends mainly upon Germany and Great Britain. A large quantity of steel-scrap is imported from West Europe. Iron comes from Sweden. The operation of the European Common Market has greatly benefited the country, because her iron and steel industry depends mostly on imported materials. In 1985 Italy produced over 25 million metric tons of steel.

    Poland and the Czech Republic are important producers of steel. Both countries have deposits of coal and smaller deposits of iron-ore. They import considerable quantity of iron-ores from Sweden. The famous Skoda Works, near Pilsen, have the largest steel plant in the Czech Republic. Glewitz (or Gliwice) and Cracow are important steel centres of Poland.

    Sweden. Though most of the iron-ore is exported from Sweden; the finest ore of Dannemora Mines (in central Sweden) is used in the country for manufacturing the purest steel. She imports large quantity of coal but iron and steel manufacturing largely depends on charcoal and electric furnaces (run by hydroelectricity). The country exports finished steel products. On the other hand Sweden imports heavy steel products such as structural shapes, rails, tinplates etc.

    Next: Interior European industrial regions

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