The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is promoting greater efficiency in Turkey’s steel industry with a €75 million loan to the steelmakers Erdemir and Isdemir, both part of Erdemir Group, the largest steel producer in the country.
The loan will finance a comprehensive investment programme that will help the companies make the most effective use of resources in manufacturing processes at their two plants in Ereğli on the Black Sea coast and İskenderun on the eastern Mediterranean coast. Steel production is known for its high energy intensity. However, sophisticated high-tech equipment can lead to significant reductions in energy use.
The companies will invest in blast-furnace top-pressure recovery turbines, a state-of-the-art technology which uses high-pressure gases collected at blast furnaces to generate electricity.
The steelmakers Erdemir and Isdemir strive to adopt best practices to fully reuse gases and waste heat from the steel-manufacturing processes. They also plan to upgrade energy management systems and extract valuable by-products from industrial waste.
Erdemir Group is already one of the most efficient steelmakers in the region and the EBRD-financed energy efficiency investment programme will further decrease its energy purchase needs. Erdemir Group is one of the largest industrial groups in Turkey and accounts for more than 1.5 per cent of the country’s electricity consumption.
Jean-Patrick Marquet, EBRD Director, Turkey, said: “Erdemir Group leads the Turkish steel market, generating a quarter of the market’s volume. Leading by example, it has the ability to start an energy efficiency revolution and transform the steel industry in Turkey. The steel sector requires greater efficiency and low-carbon industrial processes to enhance its global competitiveness and become more environmentally friendly. The EBRD is currently working with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to devise a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for Turkey, and we are particularly pleased to have Erdemir Group supporting our efforts to develop energy efficiency policies for the sector.”
Bülent Beydüz, Erdemir Group CFO, added: “Our fundamental principle is to ensure high quality production in an efficient, safe, environmentally sensitive and resource-smart manner. With the EBRD financing we are advancing even further on our journey towards greater sustainability and a lower environmental footprint.”
Founded in 1960, Erdemir Group has a liquid steel production capacity of 9.1 million tonnes per year. Its Ereğli steelworks focus on flat steel production (hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil, hot-dip galvanised coil, hot-rolled plate and tinplate) while the İskenderun plant produces both flat (hot-rolled coil) and long steel (billet, rebar and wire rod).
The group accounts for approximately a quarter of Turkey’s crude steel production and is committed to reducing its environmental impact, supporting smart design and longer life for its products while also recycling manufacturing waste.
Supporting companies such as Erdemir to adopt the best resource-efficient technologies is part of the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach, which aims to increase the level of EBRD financing for sustainable resources to some €18 billion over the next five years across some three dozen countries.
In Turkey, the Bank has been active since 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. To date, it has invested over €7 billion in the country through 180 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. About half of these projects promote sustainable use of energy and resources.
Turkey was the top destination for EBRD financing in 2015, with €1.9 billion invested that year alone.