We've been here before. Iron-puddling is much more labor-intensive, and it employs many more people to produce a ton of steel. But all the huddled masses of all the Balkan countries would not be able to produce the tonnage today's steel mills produce, in much more environmentally friendly ways.
A twin-roll process, much as Bessemer conceived, is already employed by Nucor, a giant American steelmaker. Called Castrip, it is producing steel in two of its plants. A big advantage of twin-roll and belt-casting is compactness. Nucor reckons a Castrip plant needs only 20 hectares (50 acres) and provides a good investment return from the production of only 500,000 tonnes of steel a year. A conventional steel plant, by comparison, may sprawl over 2,000 hectares and need to produce some 4m tonnes a year to turn a profit.Yes, and ladle metallurgy technologies allow these new mills to use scrap more effectively.