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Steel Industry
 
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The Basque steel industry makes 70% of Spain's electric-furnace steel and 10% of the European Union's, making it the EU's third most prolific producer in this area.

Today the region has a substantial steel goods industry, which makes a broad range of steel products sold mostly to the rest of Europe, in particular steel lengths, stainless steel and special steels. This genuinely cutting-edge sector produces nearly seven million tons of steel in 2008 year, 38% of all such production in Spain as a whole, and a turnover of 5,116 million euros.

Altogether, the steel industry in the Basque region employs more than 28,000 people, accounting for 13.9% of the added value generated by Basque industry. Its role as a provider of products used as raw materials for industries that are themselves tractor sectors for the region as a whole, including the automotive and the machine-tool industries, make steel a "basic industry" within the region's industrial makeup. 

Over the last few years, restructuring has been a major feature in the Basque steel industry with some big business corporations taking stakes in the shareholdings of some local firms, leading to the creation of firms like Arcelor-Mittal, Sidenor-Gerdau, Azpeitia-Gallardo, Ada-Añón, Aiosa-Roda and Nervacero-Celsa.

All Spain's production of special steels is concentrated in the Basque Country at Sidenor and Basque steel group GSB, itself owned by Brazilian multinational Gerdau. Sidenor is Europe's second largest manufacturer of special steels and a world leader in this branch of the industry. It works in all market sectors, in particular with the ones working ultimately for the automotive industry. 

Heirs to the now defunct Ensidesa, Altos Hornos de Vizcaya and Aristrain, ArcelorMittal mills in Spain  with Basque mills ArcelorMittal Sestao (formerly ACB-Acería Compacta de Bizkaia) , the factory in Olaberria  with further production from the other mills at Bergara, Echevarri, Zumarraga and Lesaka.

Major stainless steel rolled and cold-rolled bar producer Olarra, is one of the top ten manufacturers of these products in the world and in the leading five in Europe, its main customer. This is a much smaller market than the flat (plate or sheet) product, which is the industry's major production staple the world over. 

Tubacex, is a big name on the Basque steel tube market, being the world's second leading manufacturer of seamless stainless steel tubes. Another local seamless stainless steel producer is the Tubos Reunidos group, which provides tubes for the oil and gas industries, as well as alloyed and giant stainless steel tubes.

A major feature in the steel innovation and product improvement stakes was the appearance in 1998 of the Bilbao-based steel and environment group ACYMA, with the purpose of studying and managing innovation in steel-related environmental issues, as well as researching and creating new steels with improved or innovative applications. ACYMA comprises eleven firms from the regional steel industry with thirteen industrial mills and factories: Acería Compacta de Bizkaia, Acería de Alava, Aceralia Perfiles de Bergara, Aceralia Perfiles Olaberria, Aceralia Redondos Azpeitia, Aceralia Redondos Zumárraga, GSB Acero, Nervacero, Aceros Olarra, Sidenor and Tubos Reunidos. 


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(Source: President's Office - General Secretariat for Communication)

Fecha de la última modificación: 25/03/2009