The iron and steel industry is an excellent example of an industry where changing technology has a ‘ strong effect on location.
(a) At the source of iron ore: Lorraine (France), Duluth (USA), Corby (UK), Bhadravati and Vishakapatnam (India).
(b) At the sources of fuel, e.g., coal, hydel power, thermal: Coal based locations are Ruhr Valley (Germany). Pittsburgh (USA), Donetz Basin (CIS), Bokaro, Durgapur and Jamshedpur (India)
(c) At or near the market: Those countries where coal and iron ore deposits are rare, e.g., Tokyo- Yokahama and Osaka-Kobe-Hemeji Iron and Steel region.
(d) At the point in between market, raw material and fuel source (coal): This region offers maximum advantage from locational point of view – The iron and steel industries of Alabama (USA) have all the advantages.
(e) At the places where coal-iron ore, coal-market, iron ore-inarket, or coal-market-iron ore coincide. The iron-steel industry having iron ore and market facilities evolved in Adirondacks (USA) and Nova Scot’ia (Canada).
Industrial Centres CIS
The major iron and steel producing centres are:
1. The South District
i. One of the oldest iron-steel centres in the CIS.
ii. Favourable factors: Existence of Krivoy Rog iron ore deposits, Donbas coalfields, Nickopol manganese, and Kirch iron ore.
iii. Krivoy Rog and Donbas are the iron steel districts of the region.
2. The Ural – Kuznetsk Region
The iron-ore based plants of Magnitogorsk in Ural and coal based plants of Novokuznetsk in Kuznetsk are major iron and steel centres of this region
3. The Central district
i. Only market based iron and steel region in the CIS, which is located around the capital city of Moscow.
ii. Moscow-Tula region is the prominent iron-steel centre. United States
The major iron and steel regions in the USA are:
1. Youngstown – Wheeling – Johnstown iron and steel region
i. It was once regarded as the world’s iron-steel capital.
ii. Favourable conditions: The nearby Pittsburgh coal, and Lake Superior iron-ore, wonderful transportation network and excellent marketing facilities.
iii. Pittsburgh – ‘the iron – steel capital of the world’, the other iron-steel industrial centres are around in the wheeling and Steubenville district around Ohio-district.
2. Lower Great Lakes region
i. Favourable factors: Lies within the route of Lake Superior and Mesabi iron ore deposits and Appalachian deposits.
ii. Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Detroit, and Loraine are major iron-steel centres of this region.
iii. Chicago-Gary district and Duluth are massive steel-plants to serve the western and southern markets.
3. Atlantic Coastal region
i. Maryland, Sparrow Point and Pennsylvania are most important iron and steel centres.
ii. Entire steel industry collects coal from Pennsylvania, and Virginia mines and iron ore from Lake Superior, Adirondacks and Cornwall areas.
4. The South-Eastern region
i. This region extends from the Virginia on the east to Alabama on the south.
ii. Alabama – Birmingham concentrations are important centres of this region.
5. The Western region
i. Extends from Colorado in the interior to California on the west.
ii. Fontana in California and Provo in Utah are important iron-steel centres. Japan
The major steel-producing centres of Japan are –
1. Tokyo – Yokohama area
i. Tokyo- Chiba region are major iron-steel centre.
ii. Hitachi, north of Tokyo is also the largest agglomeration of iron and steel industry.
2. Osaka – Kobe Region
Osaka-Kobe is another large agglomeration of iron and steel industry.
3. Nagoya Region
Popularly known as the Detroit of Japan.
4. Oka – Yamaha Region
Oka – Yamaha steel centre is one of the newest steel centres in Japan, situated in between Osaka – Kobe and Hiroshima.
5. Hokkaido Region
Not very famous for industrial developments except the iron-steel producing centres near Muroran.
The iron steel centres in China are located in three separate regions-
1. Southern Manchuria
i. Oldest steel producing area with Anshan, the oldest steel plant of this area.
2. Northern China
i. Stretches from Paotow to Shantung.
ii. Shantung, Beijing and Shensi are large steel plants of this region.
3. Yangtze Valley
i. Undisputed leader of iron and steel production which stretches from Sanghai to Chungking.
ii. Favourable factors: Availability of coal in the south of Nanchang and Chungking, hydroelectricity plants for energy, extensive deposits of iron ore in southern Yangtze.
iii. Chungking, Wuhan and Shanghai are major iron-steel plants of this region.